The JVP yesterday accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of taking far reaching decisions favourable to India and the US, respectively at the expense of Sri Lanka.
JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the Rajapaksas had caused irreparable damage to national interest by inviting foreign interference. Addressing the media at their party headquarters, Silva and Vijitha Herath, MP urged the people to defeat the SLFP-led UPFA administration.
Silva said that the Defence Secretary had jeopardised national security by entering into the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) with the US, which would be detrimental to India`s security interests. He said that the pact had placed Sri Lanka on a collision course with New Delhi. He said that the Defence Secretary`s interests lay with the US owing to his US citizenship.
Quoting the Pakistani press, Silva also alleged that the Rajapaksas had removed Sarath Fonseka from the post of Army Commander on the advice of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh within days of the army decapitating the LTTE on May 19. The JVP claimed that India had warned that had Fonseka remained as Commander of the Army there would be a situation similar to that in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The JVP General Secretary said that India and the US had not decisively backed Sri Lanka`s war on terror to receive special favours. he said that the President had agreed to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full and even go beyond it once he secured a second term.
Asked whether the JVP was unaware that Sri Lanka could not have destroyed eight LTTE `floating arsenals` on the high seas without India providing three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and the political backing necessary to go ahead with the offensive, Silva said that an agreement between two countries should be mutually beneficial.
He expressed a similar response to a query whether the JVP knew of Sri Lanka having a US Coast Guard vessel and two Israeli warships which hunted down the LTTE fleet and that the US provided intelligence to facilitate the sinking of four LTTE ships.
He did not respond to The Island`s third query whether the JVP was still unaware that the vast majority of arms, ammunition and equipment recovered from the LTTE were of Chinese origin. The Island had extensively reported on the Chinese-North Korean as well as the Eritrean link in LTTE arms procurement operations handled by Kumaran Padmanathan, now in Sri Lanka custody.
Silva said that unlike India and the US, China had never interfered with domestic politics. He challenged the media to reveal at least one occasion the Chinese had interfered in Sri Lanka. The Island pointed out that Sri Lanka had not invited the Tibetian spiritual leader Dalai Lama so as not to antagonise China, Sri Lanka`s principal supplier of armaments.
The Island also challenged the JVP`s claim that the ACSA agreement was a military pact against India. Silva, then retracted his earlier claim saying that the US and India were now on the same side. That particular agreement was, he said, discussed between the US and the previous UNP government and President Rajapaksa had gone ahead with it.
The ACSA statute (formerly known as `NATO Mutual Support Act`) was enacted to simplify exchanges of logistics support, supplies, and services between the US and other NATO forces. It was subsequently amended in 1986, 1992, and 1994 to permit ACSAs with the governments of eligible non-NATO countries. It also requires equal-value exchanges (EVEs) of logistic support, supplies, and services and allows ACSAs with United Nations organizations and to authorize the loan or lease of equipment. Annual reports are required listing all ACSA transactions in the previous fiscal year and projecting requirements for the next.
The ACSA authorities provide the combatant commanders and the service component or sub-unified commands the means to acquire and provide mutual logistic support during training and expulsion, exercises and military operations, or to permit expedited access to the logistics assets of foreign country armed forces to satisfy the logistics support requirements of deployed US Armed Forces.picOne of the three warships acquired from India