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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 102

Sri Lanka: the only state where everyone rules except ......

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

If a Martian landing in Sri Lanka tomorrow asks any passer-by to take the visitor from space to his/her leader the first question that will puzzle the Sri Lankan is: Do we have a leader?

Nominally, Sri Lanka has many leaders: President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Velupillai Prabhakaran, Tamilselvan, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, etc., etc.

But take the case of the airstrip at the Iranamadu. The International Herald Tribune (IHT) states: “This airstrip is also the only place in South Asia where even airliners can land which is not under the control of any government.” IHT also adds: “It (LTTE) has also acquired two aircraft with a range of 1,000 km-plus, capable of flying direct to Chennai and back, besides a helicopter of 600-km range.” So is there anyone in charge of the airstrip on the ground, let alone the airspace above?

Then take the case of the Norwegian “facilitators” and the 60-member Norwegian led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). Whenever the LTTE violates the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) – and it has done so 2840 (if the three latest, Sooriyamoorthy, Shanta Ananda and Lt. Col Muthaliff, are added) times since February 22, 2005 – both parties wash their hands off and say that they don’t have the power to intervene. In fact, Hagrup Haklund, the head of the told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, last Thursday (May 26, 2005) that if the bombs fall they will go home. So who’s running the peace process? And do we need peace monitors who will run away when the first bomb falls?

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