The JVP will field a candidate at the forthcoming presidential election if an ambitious bid to reach consensus on a national plan with Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse failed to materialise.
The JVP is seeking an agreement on four key issues, the NE crisis, and the joint tsunami aid sharing deal, privatisation and education.
A JVP politburo member speaking on the condition of anonymity said that a party delegation will be meeting Rajapakse shortly to discuss what he termed as a workable plan.
The JVP on August 14 ? two days after the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar ? joined the premier to issue a joint statement from Temple Trees condemning the killing. It was said that they were encouraged by Rajapakse`s stance but would like to have an agreement on the entire range of issues immediately.
The spokesman said that Friday`s Supreme Court ruling would not give them time to manoeuvre. The Sunday Island learns that the JVP decided on a plan to woo the premier at a meeting chaired by party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe last Sunday.
The JVP expressed the belief that Rajapakse could not turn a blind eye towards the deteriorating security situation, particularly after the assassination of Kadirgamar. Rajapakse himself is under heavy security threat with his security staff considering curbing his movements even in Colombo and its suburbs.
The Marxists acknowledged that fielding of a JVP candidate would be advantageous to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, whom the party had vowed to defeat. But the party insisted that it would not back Rajapakse merely to defeat Wickremesinghe.
`As it is, we don`t see any difference between the standtaken up by Wickremesinghe and Rajapakse on the Oslo-led peace process,` another JVP source said.
The JVP declined to confirm whether Amarasinghe would contest the poll if the forthcoming negotiations on a common programme failed. Party heavyweight Nandana Gunatilleke is also mentioned as a possibility as he was their candidate at the 1994 presidential election.
The JVP pulled out of the contest after the then Premier Chandrika Kumaratunga obtained their support claiming that she would abolish the presidency if she defeated the UNP candidate of `progressives.`
Political sources said that the JVP was exerting heavy pressure on Rajapakse. Referring to the so-called pro-peace lobby, the sources said that the JVP wanted Rajapakse to make a clean-break from Kumaratunga`s clan and be the common candidate.