Somawansa slams Gotabhaya
leader Somawansa Amerasinghe has chided Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for his remarks that permanent peace in Sri Lanka could be achieved only through defeating terrorism 100 percent but declared his party endorsed that view.
The Defence Secretary made the remarks during a nationally televised ceremony at the Eastern Naval Area Headquarters in Trincomalee. The occasion was to mark the return of a Navy flotilla after a week long mission in international waters where they destroyed what was described as Tiger guerrilla `floating warehouses` containing military hardware.
?He is a bureaucrat. The JVP believes that a bureaucrat does not have the right or a duty to spell out Government policy,? he told The Sunday Times. However, he said the JVP was in total agreement with the view, but that should have come from the President and other politicians of the Government.
?That is what the people of the country would like to hear from them,? he said. Mr Amerasinghe said politicians do not agree to solve the ethnic issue. ?We say so because they have repeatedly indicated this by making contradictory statements,? he said. He likened the Government`s actions as placing the cart before the horse.
The JVP leader also warned that there could be a protest general strike soon. He said prompting this move was the difficulty trade unions were encountering in meeting relevant ministers to discuss issues. In the past, due to this situation, trade unions had to call for token strikes and thus prompt ministers into meeting trade union leaders.
Mr Amerasinghe said this was the reason why teachers had to go on strike recently. It is the duty of the Government, he said, to grant redress to the genuine grievances of the State sector employees. ?Even we will have to seek recourse to the judiciary to safeguard the fundamental rights of the trade unions,? he said.
He said that in recent weeks the country witnessed the unity of teachers. ?Very few had reported for work when they chose to resort to trade union action. They are more conscious of their responsibilities than the ministers. Teachers are also parents as well. They also have school going children. They never intend to do anything harmful to their pupils,? he said. That is why we will also have to seek the help of the judiciary to seek redress for our grievances, he added. A signed article by Mr. Amerasinghe on the JVP`s stance on the prevailing political situation appears on Page 15.