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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

Emerging Political Scenario in Sri Lanka: A Response to Raja

[b]Emerging Political Scenario in Sri Lanka: A Response to Rajasingham[/b]

Prof. Laksiri Fernando of the University of Colombo

This is in response to K. T. Rajasingham’s article "Will Mahinda Rajapakse preside over the disintegration of Sri Lanka?" appeared in Asian Tribune (24 January 2006), which I consider a candid and a forthright exposition on the current situation in Sri Lanka. Obviously there are points that I agree, and others I disagree.

1. I agree that there are confusing scenarios emerging in Sri Lanka, not one but several. I say this irrespective of the breakthrough that has been achieved to hold direct talks between the GoSL and the LTTE on Wednesday the 25th. The worst scenario of course would be "Mahinda Rajapakse presiding over the disintegration of Sri Lanka." There are doubts cast, as Rajasingham says, because "his election campaign rhetoric began to evaporate after being sworn in as the President. A tone of compromise began to emerge gradually. He has taken a 180 degrees u-turn to invite the Norwegians to facilitate the peace talks." All may be true but would they amount to Rajapakse presiding over disintegration? I simply think it is too early to judge but an early warning as Rajasingham has already done may be in perfect order.

2. Some of the moves that Rajapakse has taken, however, can be defended in terms of 'facing realism' or even otherwise, of course assuming that he is firm on his principles, and if there is anything worthwhile among them. My main criticism of Rajapakse at present is that he has so far done almost nothing to reassure the Tamil and the Muslim communities, including the democratic dissident to the LTTE, that their security and rights would be safeguarded whatever he may had to say during the election campaigning. This is apart from finding a genuine and a democratic solution within a united and a federalist framework as the tangible resolution to the ethnic conflict.

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