TNA speaks of CBK's political truancy

Nov 2 (IL) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday alleged that President Chandrika Kumaratunga had no intention whatsoever in resuming peace talks with the LTTE but is only interested in securing her political future. "She is working towards political immunity," the TNA said.

A TNA delegation led by Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan also told Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi that Ms. Kumaratunga instead of taking forward the peace process, was more concerned about deciding whether to hold a Presidential election or a countrywide referendum to choose the next President.

Sampanthan also shot down a recent statement by Cabinet Spokesman Mangala Samaraweera that peace talks between the Government and the LTTE will resume next month. "There is no substance whatsoever to this statement," Sampanthan had informed Akashi.

TNA member A. Vinayagamoorthy, who is also the leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) said that the Alliance believed that President Kumaratunga was not worried about the peace process, but instead she has a hidden agenda to bring about a change in the constitution which would either enable her to be the Prime Minister or contest the Presidential elections for the third time.

"She is worried only about her political future," the ACTC leader charged.

He also stressed that the LTTE is ready to resume peace talks even today, but it is the Government that is still unprepared for the event. He also reiterated that for the first time in Sri Lankan history, even the main Opposition has given support to the Government's peace process.

"So why the delay then, why is the Government not willing to resume peace talks?" he asked, adding that the LTTE has assured that they were willing to discuss even the Government's set of proposals on an Interim Administration. "Once talks resume all proposals can be put forward and taken up for discussion," he noted.