Friday, October 17, 2008

President stresses viable political solution for Tamil people

In an interview by the Editor in Chief of the Hindu newspaper, N. Ram Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would quite help draw up a political solution to the Tamil people than to the LTTE terrorist outfit.
"What is the use of giving a answer to terrorists? They are not giving up terrorism," he told Editor Ram in the interview carried as the lead story of the newspaper's turn out version as well as its web edition .
"I am resolutely committed to a now and enduring political solution" to the state of affairs in Sri Lanka and "am clear that there are no military solutions to political questions," President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the editor in a telephonic chat from Colombo on Thursday(Oct 16) morning.
In the interview President Rajapaksa assured that the government was doing its greatest to send provisions to the Tamil civilians still stuck up in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu but about 70 percent of that end up with the LTTE.
The following are excerpts of the interview:
"Addressing the caring situation of displaced people and civilians exaggerated by the military conflict in the Wanni, he reiterated that his government was doing its utmost to meet their essential needs: "We are distribution them food. We are feeding the LTTE, in fact, we know that 70 per cent of the food sent by the government goes to them."
"Going into some detail on the complexities of the situation, and sure problems that had cropped up in coordinating the release work with United Nations agencies and international NGOs, Mr. Rajapaksa reiterated the assurance he recently gave to the All Party Conference that "all hardships faced temporarily by our brothers and sisters in the North will be brought to an end in a short time."
"The Sri Lankan President, who has had discussions with High Commissioner Alok Prasad and adopted a conciliatory approach, will be sending a special envoy to New Delhi in the near future to give details the overall situation and meet the concerns expressed by India in an October 6 demarche.
"As for the relationship between the ongoing winning military operations and the political solution, Mr. Rajapaksa complete the point that the solution had to be given to the Tamil people, not to the LTTE: "What is the use of giving a answer to terrorists? They are not giving up terrorism." As recently as October 11, in his address to the All Party Conference, the Sri Lankan President called on the LTTE "to lay down their arms and give in and enter the democratic following process."
"By all believable independent assessments, the LTTE has taken a rough treatment as never before, faces a crisis of morale, and is confined to its strongholds in Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi districts. "As soon as we clear this territory," Mr. Rajapaksa explained, "let the people [of the Northern Province] decide [in an election]."
"Mr. Rajapaksa pointed out that he had entrusted the All Party Representative Conference (APRC) with the task of developing a consensus among political parties and democratic stakeholders in order to find an acceptable answer to the racial conflict. Such a solution could go beyond the 13th Amendment provided the parties could ensure a two-thirds majority in Parliament for the necessary changes to the Constitution.
"The 13th Amendment, the Sri Lankan President reminded political India, was what "India introduced to our Constitution." It was not implemented preceding on account of "opposition in the South" but in the Eastern Province "we have shown we are interested in implementing it." Elections were effectively held after all parts of the Province had been empty of the LTTE's military presence without any civilian casualties; he had chosen Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan as Chief Minister despite his being in a minority; and the new Chief Minister (a former LTTE child soldier) was "doing very well." More than 1000 Tamil police officers had been recruited for the Eastern area and some of them had been trained in India.
"President Rajapaksa expressed careful optimism that once the LTTE-held areas in the North were cleared by the Sri Lankan security forces and the APRC came up with its final set of recommendations, "I will tell that to the South and implement it." If it meant changes to the Constitution, he would need cooperation from the resistance so that a two-thirds majority could be ensured."

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