The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) have responded with mixed reactions to reports that SLFP Presidential candidate and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was willing to meet LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran to discuss peace, if he comes out victorious at the upcoming elections.
TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, while welcoming the SLFP candidate`s intentions, said Mr. Rajapakse should personally send a letter to the LTTE leader requesting for a meeting if he was really serious about what he said.
The Premier in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday was quoted as saying his top priority was to end the war with the LTTE and he was willing to be the first Sri Lankan President to meet the rebel leader. `Expressing such intentions just before an election may send the wrong signal because it may seem as an election gimmick,` Mr. Senathirajah said.
The JHU was cautious in expressing its view regarding Mr. Rajapakse`s statement with the Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera saying the outcome of the talks with the rebel leader, if it took place, would be more important than the meeting itself.
The JHU held separate talks with both Mr. Rajapakse and UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe this week on the conditions based on which, if accepted, they would offer support to either of the candidates at the upcoming elections.
The monk who represented the party at the talks said the JHU had made its policy clear and it was up to the candidates to accept it if they wanted the support of the monks.