Colombo, Elections, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War


The moment the TNA announced its support for the opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, the ruling party and the forces that back President Mahinda Rajapakse have begun to smell an international conspiracy with the help of the LTTE to destabilize and divide Sri Lanka.  According to them the very man who was mainly responsible for eliminating the Tigers has today turned out to be a Tiger supporter! The ‘Ali-kotti’ agreement of 2005 has today turned out to be a secret ‘Fonseka-kotti’ agreement.  Do these forces –‘the remnants from the Dark Ages as far as the national question is concerned, as (Prof. .Kumar David calls them,) consider the voters of this country to be so dumb as to believe this canard?

A daily newspaper of 8th January has as its main headline- ‘General Fonseka’s agreement renews threat’.  The President himself is reported to have said that the country is once again facing a threat as General Fonseka in an agreement signed on 6th Wednesday has pledged to offer self rule to the North and to merge the North-East to make a single unit of power which was what the LTTE  fought for unsuccessfully, for 30 years.  Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has charged that the Tamil National Alliance was engaged with the international community to undermine the efforts taken by the government to eradicate terrorism.  According to Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, “the TNA members were angry with Mahinda Rajapakse for defeating their hopes of a separate homeland.”  The JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) minister Champika Ranawaka laments that the war victory the country had gained by defeating the LTTE may all be in vain if General Fonseka goes ahead with his policies that compromise national interests.  In his view General Fonseka seems to undermine his own victory with the help of a ‘number of snakes’. These snakes seem to refer to Western diplomats.

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The President of the National Patriotic movement, Gunadasa Amarasekera has alleged that General Fonseka has been put forward by foreign forces to carry out a contract that includes releasing all the LTTE suspects.  Such is the power of the American dollar the NPM concludes.  “The LTTE supporters are jubilant at Fonseka’s entry” says Maithripala Sirisena.  It is obvious that in the perception of all these forces there is no difference between the LTTE  that used terrorism and the elected members of the Tamil people who have not killed a single human being, unlike Karuna and Pillayan whom the present regime has embraced.  In addition to all these supporters of the President, there are also Mervyn Silva and Wimal Weerawansa, the two Dutugemunus of today’s Sri Lanka.

These then are the dark forces that make Prof. Kumar David, Rajan Philip, Devenesan Nesiah, Dr. Visvalingam and may other Tamils feel uncomfortable. Voting for President Rajapakse would also mean voting for these dark forces, because the two cannot be separated.

President Rajapakse in his long political career has never shown any interest in politically solving the ethnic problem.  To him it was only a terrorist problem and now that the terrorists have been killed he doesn’t seem to see the great need for a political solution. It is his indifference regarding Tamil issues and grievances that made senior Tamil politicians like Sampanthan and Yogarajan turn to General Fonseka at the last moment.  Sampanthan says they had many discussions with the President, but were most disappointed with the manner in which he dealt with the issues.  They have both called the APRC a farce presented to the international community, so that the war could be continued without any hindrance.  (It also provided permanent jobs, with all the perks to Left politicians like Tissa Vitharana.)  Yogarajan speaking of the APRC has said, “I was part of this Committee and we met 128 times and came up with a document.  This document has been shelved.  The government and its allies have no intention of giving

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the Tamil people a political solution.”  This is why minority political leaders like Rauf Hakeem, Mano Ganesan, Sellasamy, even human rights activist like Nimalka Fernando, liberal political leaders like Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mangala Samaraweera are supportive of General Fonseka.  Are all these people conspiring to destabilize and divide Sri Lanka?  Very unlikely.  Therefore, in order to defeat the extremist nationalist forces and the regime controlled by them, many Tamils and Muslims might vote for General Fonseka. They realize that as long as the executive president is backed by the extremist elements in the South, he will never even consider the grievances of the minorities.