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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Mahinda’s political gamble places the Tamil leaders in .....

[b]Mahinda’s political gamble places the Tamil leaders in a quandary.[/b]

By K.T.Rajasingham

Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister as well as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s candidate in the forthcoming presidential election, has entered into two separate political agreements recently with the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).

Both the political parties put forward separately 12 conditions – all of which were accepted by Mahinda Rajapakse.

Those two agreements were signed on the condition that the JVP and JHU would extend their support to Mahinda Rajapakse in the forthcoming presidential election, which is yet to be scheduled, and in return he would implement the conditions, if elected as the country's president.

Conditions put forward in those two separate agreements are supposed to have far reaching political implications and, according to analysis by the political pundits, they bind Mahinda Rajapakse if and when he is elected as the President without providing room for any maneuverability in any future peace negotiations with the Tamils in the country.

After Sri Lanka gained independence from the British colonial master in February 1948, Tamils found that the coexistence with Sinhalese majority community were practically impossible under a unitary form of government and began to agitate for the devolution power in the form of a federal arrangement. As the movement developed, the extremist elements in the midst of the Tamils took to arms demanding a separate state.

Faced with this new reality, a section of the Sinhalese leadership accepted the idea of the federated form of government in the country which is seen as the only solution presently available within the democratic process to keep the country’s sovereignty intact and united.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party agreed that a federal political structure is the best solution to bring about a sustainable solution in the country.

Mahinda Rajapakse’s agreement is bound to reverse this trend and take the country back to square one.

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