Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will not respond immediately to accusations by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga that he failed to consult her over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
He was away in Matara yesterday taking part in a series of public engagements. However, he refrained from making any references in his speeches to the strongly-worded letter he received from President Kumaratunga. The Sunday Times learns there will be no immediate response from Mr. Rajapakse.
A highly placed source close to him said a response, if at all, was not likely until next week or even later. This will mean President Kumaratunga will not receive answers to the questions she raised before she departs today to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly sessions.
Basil Rajapakse, Chief Campaign Manager for Premier Rajapakse declined to comment on President Kumaratunga`s letter. He told The Sunday Times the polls campaign was going ahead as scheduled.
Parts of a strongly-worded letter in Sinhala which President Kumaratunga wrote to Prime Minister Rajapakse made available to the media. The English text of the relevant paragraphs was:
?Signing of the agreement with the JVP?
?I have come to understand from our party leaders that you have carried out the above act. Though you had invited our ministers and MPs by sending invitation cards and by telephone, you had not informed me that you were carrying out such a major task. The Central Committee which should take such decisions too has not been informed.
?Through a Mahinda Rajapakse-JVP agreement, you have rejected the P-TOMS agreement on your own will though it was presented to Parliament after being unanimously approved by the Cabinet, district and electoral level organizers and the Central Committee. How do you say that this agreement cannot be accepted after this was presented to Parliament on June 24, 2005 with your approval? How do you disagree with something you agreed two months back?
?After you sent out the invitation cards and telephoned people inviting them for the signing ceremony you had for the first time made an attempt to call me around 9.55 a.m. I am not sure what the message you wanted to give me is, but if you were to inform me about the agreement it is ridiculous.
?You had told me that you agreed that after I sent you the amended version of the agreement you would show it to the JVP and present it to the Central Committee for approval.
?Even at that time you did not indicate to me that the initially proposed agreement will be signed today. I wish to inform you that as a member of the People`s Alliance and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, it is a violation of discipline.
?You had said that you wanted to create peace by meeting Prabhakaran. Our Government has agreed that devolution of power is the solution to establish peace without dividing the country. There is no solution which has been reached in the world as suggested in your agreement where any devolution of power could be implemented based on a unitary state structure. Therefore, if you meet Prabhakaran you may only have to eat a piece of cake and return. Explain to the nation and myself as to what could be achieved to establish peace through your agreement.
?You may have to explain to the public soon as to how you hope to work against the racist and extremist LTTE by joining hands with parties such as JHU which have extremist ideas. According to media reports you plan to sign an agreement with the JHU. If that is the case our party should take a decision on it.?
The MoU between Mr. Rajapakse and the JHU is to be formally signed at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on Tuesday.