2ND LEAD

JVP demands World Bank Country Director to be removed from Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 March 2005, 04:04 GMT]
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sri Lanka's powerful Marxist Sinhala nationalist party and President Chandrika Kumaratunga's main coalition partner in the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, has demanded the World Bank to remove its Country Representative, Mr. Peter Harrold, from Sri Lanka. The JVP in a statement issued on Sunday accused that the World Bank Representative had "overstepped his duties" by making a statement to a newspaper indicating that Rs. 6 billion of the post-tsunami aid for the LTTE-held areas in the North-East would be disbursed through state agencies in consultation with the LTTE.

"JVP is not a political party which would allow anyone to belittle sovereignty of Sri Lanka. The masses in this country have given us the strength to stand against and defeat any party that would engage in brutal conspiracies against the sovereign existence of our beloved Motherland. Basing on this we vehemently oppose the statement of Peter Harold, the representative of the World Bank, and demand that the relevant statement, which undermines sovereignty of Sri Lanka and challenges the authority of the state, be withdrawn immediately. If not we demand that the heads of the World Bank to take steps to withdraw their representative immediately", said the JVP statement issued on Sunday evening.

Mr. Peter Harrold, World Bank Country Director to Sri Lanka
Mr. Peter Harrold, World Bank Country Director to Sri Lanka
Mr. Harrold in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper had said that it would be naïve for anybody, including the government of Sri Lanka, to think that they could successfully carry out operations in the North-East without having a dialogue with the LTTE or without having bringing it in as a stakeholder.

"Given the fact that there is an officially recognized LTTE-controlled area, a kind of unofficial state, and since it is a party to the ceasefire agreement with the government, the LTTE has the status of a legitimate stakeholder," the Sunday Times quoted Mr. Harrold as saying in its lead story on Sunday.

However, the JVP has questioned on what basis Mr. Harrold had said that the LTTE had an unofficial state and officially recognized the LTTE-held areas.

Neither the World Bank nor any other foreign institution has a right to hold direct talks or directly assist financially a "terrorist organization recognized all over the world" on developments or any other issues, the JVP statement has said.

"The World Bank representative in any country should not make controversial statements on internal political matters. He is not entitled to act or say anything that would jeopardize or challenge the country's sovereignty," the JVP politburo said in the statement.

JVP has been opposing the Norwegian-brokered peace process right from the very beginning and has threatened to pull out of the UPFA government if the government resumes peace talks with the LTTE to establish an interim administration or even come to an agreement with the LTTE for a joint mechanism for the disbursement of post-tsunami relief effort.

The JVP has been campaigning for negating the influence of World Bank and IMF in Sri Lanka's economy.


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