Constitutional Affairs Minister and Communist Party General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera said yesterday that the LTTE cannot be defeated politically although it is defeated militarily.
Minister Gunasekera made this point at a ceremony held to mark the 64th anniversary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka in Colombo yesterday.
Mr. Gunasekera explained that there was an ethnic problem in the country and that there should be a solution to it. `There should be devolution of power within a united country,` he pointed out.
He then explained that this issue had started during the tenure of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and turned into a bloody conflict during the J.R. Jayewardene The Communist Party stalwart said the problem had not been solved although both sides had been fighting for almost 25 years.
`Prabhakaran is not the architect of the national issue although many think that he started it,` the Minister said.
He said two new factors have emerged as obstacles to a political solution and the present impasse could be traced back to the so-called SLFP-JVP MoU. `The situation has become complex and potentially dangerous. Chauvinism has become a dominant trend in politics today,` he added.
Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera however was hopeful that sanity would prevail within both the JVP and the JHU, paving the way for a political solution.
`We have missed many opportunities in the past and if we miss it this time, we will have to co-exist with terrorism for ever,` he stressed.
He appealed to the JVP to rediscover the problem in its true perspective, shed its feudalistic and chauvinistic thinking on the national question, in the broader interest of the country and return to the left movement.
Touching on the recent happenings, he said he and several other Cabinet Ministers objected to the banning of the LTTE when the present government had mooted the idea. The Minister said Prabhakaran would have been happy if that happened as the Tamil Diaspora would have more willingly funded the LTTE. He expressed the same sentiments on the recent eviction of some Tamils from lodges in Colombo.