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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 80

Mahinda Rajapakse wants to tie-up with JHU

[b]Mahinda Rajapakse wants to tie-up with JHU[/b]

By Anne Rodrigo - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 21 August, ( an interview with the Asian Tribune Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Parliamentary Group Leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage Party) said that Prime Minister and presidential candidate, Mahinda Rajapakse, has written requesting a tie-up for the next presidential elections.

Ven. Rathana Thera also told the Asian Tribune that the LTTE agreeing to review the Cease Fire Agreement was a mere farce to ward off international pressure, temporarily, following Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar’s killing. He said that the LTTE dread international sanctions and has agreed to review the CFA now, after refusing to review it earlier, as nothing but a face-saving measure.

“It is up to President Chandrika Kumaratunga to decide whether she is going to fall into the same trap or not, by sitting down for talks with the LTTE. This could be the most opportune time for the President and the Norway to put pressure on the LTTE to give up weapons”, the monk said.

The Thera added: “The LTTE would go back to its usual spree of killing within a matter of weeks. After all they have violated it over 3000 times. So, who will give the guarantee that they will not do so again?”

Criticising India’s hands-off policy in the country’s ethnic issue, the monk said that India is only interested in getting economic advantage from the country. He said that Indian Oil Corporation has become key player here and they have bought oil tanks in Trincomalee.

Having committed the mistake of sending the Indian army here may be India is cautious not to poke its hands unnecessarily. “Yet its hands-off approach in the ethnic issue will make them to pay a price one day.”

Amidst talk of a common candidate by the JHU and the JVP he said the party would decide on the matter soon. “If there is no tie-up with any party, we are considering a candidate among the party members or someone from outside who is not in politics but widely known, whom we have decided already”. The monk refused to name the person.

Question : What made the JHU seek the Supreme Court opinion on the date the President took oaths—once in 1999 and another controversial 2000 swearing-in?

Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera: President Chandrika Kumaratunga sought Supreme Court opinion on the date of the next Presidential elections. It is this issue that made the JHU to file another petition in the Supreme Court to decide which oath-taking is legal. We believe that elections are due this year. The Attorney-General has informed the Election Commissioner that it is the President’s1999, first swearing-in that is valid hence signaling that elections are due this year.

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