RANIL FOR DISCUSSIONS (98 Sep 02)
The leader of the opposition Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe said that negotiations with the LTTE can take place while the government is carrying out military operations. He said that the negotiations should be unconditional and should take place in a foreign country.
Mr. Wickremesinghe is of the view that the third party should act in the capacity of a facilitator and not as a mediator. He has not named a particular country but it reflects the position of the U. N. P. leader more than that of the party.
The question has to be asked what is the basis of the discussions with the LTTE. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe says they should be unconditional. In other words he does not want the government to impose any conditions. However, the LTTE on number of occasions has said that they will drop Eelam only in favour of a confederation, which is Eelam in another name. Moreover all the Tamil racist parties insist that the nationhood of the Tamils, the traditional homeland and the right of self determination are non negotiable.It means that Mr. Wickremesinghe in trying to be unconditional has accepted the LTTE conditions. He is agitating for discussion under the backing of the western powers, especially of the British.
Mr. Wickremesinghe leaves for the U. S. A. on the fifteenth of September. It is expected that he will discuss some of these matters with the so called Tamil ex patriots while he is in that country. The Sinhala people living in the U.S.A. should tell Mr. Wickremesinghe in no uncertain terms that there should be no negotiations with the LTTE and the only solution to the problem is to defeat the LTTE militarily.