People`s Alliance Western Provincial Councillor Prabha Ganeshan said yesterday that the Sinhalese cannot expect a solution to the North-East problem as long as they treat Prabhakaran as an enemy.
Mr. Ganeshan made this point when UNP Councillor Sirikamal De Silva presented an urgent bill requesting the central government to introduce an effective program to ensure the security of the people. He explained that the LTTE leader should not be considered as an enemy, as he is the sole representative of the Tamils. Mr. Ganeshan also lashed out at the JVP and the JHU, saying that they are pushing the country towards war, by rejecting a solution based on federalism.
He also charged that a large number of Tamils, in Colombo and on the estates, have been arrested and harassed by the security forces.
Leader of the JVP councillors in the Western Provincial Council Waruna Deeptha Rajapakse said that there is a serious problem regarding the venue for the peace talks. He explained that the LTTE will regain access to the European region, if the talks are held in a European country and therefore, the talks should be held in an Asian country. ?President Mahinda Rajapakse has understood that the LTTE will gain access to Europe again, if the talks are held in Europe, and that is why he is insisting on an Asian venue,? he added.
Chief Opposition Whip of the Provincial Council Lakshman Abeygunaratne, while welcoming the motion presented by Mr. Silva, stressed that the allies of the ruling party, the JVP and the JHU, should take a definite stand and become flexible on the issue. He explained that several leaders who ruled this country have made valiant efforts to solve the problem but failed, because of cheap politics carried out by the Opposition leaders.
Democratic Unity Alliance Councillor A.J.M. Muzammil said that there was a good opportunity to solve the problem as there is a President and an Opposition leader, who fully understand the problem. ?We must make use of this excellent opportunity,? he added. He also criticized the two main political parties, for allowing Prabhakaran to make decisions on the future. ?Many of the Presidents who ruled the country were Prabhakaran`s choice, rather than the people`s choice,? he said.
UPFA Councillor Prasanna Ranathunga said that President Rajapakse has proved that politicians, in the South do not need the minority vote to win elections. He said that some political parties are trying to capture power using the North-East Problem, but should be stopped. He, therefore, called upon Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to join President Rajapakse and work together to solve the problem.
Councillor Sirikamal de Silva, who presented the motion, said that there should be an effective security measure to safeguard the people and maintain peace in the country. ?The country is facing a crisis today, as it is gradually moving towards war,? he said.
He explained that over 5 persons are killed daily in the North and the East. We are beginning to see dead bodies of soldiers going into the villages once again,? he added.