JVP presses with campaign against peace talks

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 June 2003, 18:01 GMT]
The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) held another massive demonstration and rally Wednesday near downtown Colombo denouncing peace talks between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers. More than five thousand party activists and members marched through a busy part of the city shouting slogans against the LTTE and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mr. Minister Ranil Wicremesinghe’s government.

The JVP, which has emerged in recent years as a very powerful third force in Sri Lankan politics, is engaged in an aggressive campaign to stir Sinhala public opinion against the peace talks to resolve the island’s ethnic conflict.

The party systematically propagates the idea that Prime Minister Mr. Minister Ranil Wicremesinghe’s government is conspiring with the Liberation Tigers to create a separate state for the Tamils.

Wednesday’s massive march and rally reiterated the JVP’s thesis that the proposed interim administrative mechanism sought by the Liberation Tigers to rebuild and rehabilitate the war torn northeast is an insidious trick played on the Sinhala people. The theme of the protest march and rally was ‘Oppose handing over of northeast’ interim administration to the LTTE’.

JVP had a special security group guarding party leaders during the march and rally.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks took part in the demo and meeting. Powerful sections of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist clergy are openly opposed to talking peace with the Tigers.

A political columnist working for a Sinhala weekly says that the campaign is aimed at discrediting Mr. Wicremesinghe’s government so that the opposition could prepare the ground for a regime change in Colombo.

In recent months the JVP has been engaged in forging a strategic partnership with President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga with the aim of dissolving Parliament and holding fresh elections.

Two bloody insurrections by the JVP were botched in 1971 and 1989.

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