Chandrika is making baseless allegations says John Amaratunga

Mar 29 (IL) Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga rejected her allegations that the UNP was behind the attacks on churches, as baseless.

"As with the many other baseless stories you have tried to promulgate in the past few weeks, this story too is without foundation. Miraculously you have tried to place the blame for the death of your husband on the UNP, when you have been recorded many times as saying that it was the JVP and for which there is adequate documentary evidence.

In the same way you have made this claim without any foundation or evidence" he said. The letter by Minister Amaratunga is as follows:

You are reported in one of the daily newspapers yesterday as having said that the UNF was behind the attacks on churches.

That you should make such an attack is clearly a sign of desperation the JVP/SLFP Alliance campaign has reached. Clearly you are now thrashing around wildly trying to find stories to stop the UNP from winning next week.

The United National Party calls upon you to produce your evidence before Polling Day next Friday or to retract your comments unreservedly.

That you should use these despicable attacks on churches and Christians for party political purposes does you no credit. Similarly that should you accuse Buddhist monks of these attacks without any shred of evidence also brings you no credit. Your comments can only cause to inflame inter community hatred at a time when you should be showing non partisan leadership.

I would urge you to allow the police to undertake their investigations and to find and prosecute the criminals involved in these attacks from whichever political party, community or religion they come.

Whilst writing I note that in the same report you have said that you will ensure lasting peace. The UNP is surprised that you can believe this when your first manifesto was rejected by the LTTE and your second with irrelevant revisions will also be rejected.

In addition the story in another Sinhala newspaper yesterday quoting Tamilselvan as saying that you are driving the LTTE back to war' makes your assertions even more preposterous.

Whatever you say and wherever you go your craving for power is now doing the country untold harm. Campaigning politically is one thing, inflaming community and religious hatred is quite another