The JVP in Parliament yesterday called for the withdrawal of the entire statement made by World Bank Sri Lanka representative Peter Harrold to The Sunday Times newspaper on the grounds that it gave legitimacy to the LTTE which is a terrorist organisation, and was detrimental to the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan state.
Making a special statement in Parliament yesterday, JVP group leader Wimal Weerawansa said that even though Mr. Harrold had denied calling the north-east an unofficial state, he had not denied other comments made in connection with the LTTE which gave legitimacy to the group and also disregarded the sovereignty of the country.
`Mr. Peter Harrold`s comments clearly indicate an effort on the part of the World Bank representative to give legitimacy to the LTTE, and by stating that only the LTTE should be consulted concerning issues pertaining to the north-east, he was echoing the LTTE sentiment that it was the sole representative of the Tamil people.
`Mr. Harrold has repeatedly said that there are areas which officially come under LTTE control. However neither the Constitution nor Parliament has acknowledged this fact. Does the representative of an international organisation have the right to arrive at such conclusions on a topic that is extremely sensitive and complex such as this?` asked Mr. Weerawansa .
Mr. Weerawansa said the ceasefire agreement signed between the UNP and the LTTE in 2001 sought to give legitimacy to the LTTE.
`This is why we were opposed to the CFA from the outset because of concern that such status could be used to threaten the sovereignty of the country at a later date,` he said. Mr. Weerawansa added that a statement made to the press by a UNP MP endorsing Mr. Harrold`s stance on the LTTE was even more serious than the comments made by the World Bank representative and highlighted the sorry destiny of the main opposition party.
During Mr. Weerawansa`s statement TNA parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan intervened calling the statement `unwarranted` as Mr. Harrold had already issued a statement regarding the matter.
At this point Mr. Weerawansa retorted. `You are now speaking on behalf of the World Bank apart from your role as an LTTE mouthpiece.`
Mr. Weerawansa concluded his speech by calling on all concerned parties to put pressure on the World Bank to remove Mr. Harrold from his post in Sri Lanka if he failed to make a withdrawal of his entire statement.