Ex-Minister Mangala Samaraweera`s demand that the JVP, which is openly opposing a political solution, be brought back to the government fold, at a time when the government has promised to unveil its solution shortly, has disturbed the devolution lobby in the government, The Island learns.
However, Mr. Samaraweera defended his position on the grounds that whatever the JVP may say, it is bound by the UPFA manifesto of 2004, which envisages a political solution, the nature of which is to be determined by the people, Mr. Samaraweera said. In answer to our question how he reconciled his demand that a political solution be evolved to the conflict and proposal to the President that the JVP`s support be secured, he said he didn`t think that a coming together of the two parties will stand in the way of a political solution.
Asked what he thought of the JVP`s position that the CFA be abrogated and the LTTE be defeated militarily, Mr. Samaraweera said the JVP had a right to its views but it had subscribed to the UPFA manifesto.
JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa, contacted for comments, said Mangala being a member of the SLFP might hold a view different from that of the JVP but that was no barrier for the two parties to work together.
He said Mangala was not the only SLFP member who subscribed to a political solution. Many in the party, he said, held that view. `We are totally against a political solution aimed at devolution of power but if the military on-going military campaign against the LTTE is continued and the outfit defeated, thereafter there should be a solution to rid the country of communalism and separatism. That is the only political solution we have in mind,` he said.
Meanwhile, SLFP sources said at a meeting of 425 Western Province SLFP Provincial Councillors, Municipal Councillors, Local government representatives and representatives of SLFP organizations in electorates, some members had objected to an attempt by the conveners to take up the issue of the dissidents. The protesters pointed out they had gathered to discuss the current political situation in the country and not internal squabbles of the party. The meeting chaired by SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena was attended by Ministers Dilan Perera and Felix Perera. Presidential Advisor Bharatha Premanchandra also addressed the meeting. However, contacted for comments the organizers claimed the meeting had ended without any such incident.