SPUR Welcomes President Rajapakse - the Leader of Resurgent Sri
The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) a
10-year-old Melbourne based organisation with the objectives of
promoting peace and sustainable development in Sri Lanka warmly welcomes
the election of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse as the 5th President of Sri Lanka.
The President should be congratulated and his consummate
interpersonal skills and patience admired for developing the strategy
adopted for securing this magnificent victory benefiting all communities
living in Sri Lanka.
In addition to his major political opponents, President Rajapakse
faced an unholy alliance of individuals and organisations hell bent on
destroying the heritage and the territorial integrity of unitary Sri
The concoction making up the opposition included moneyed businessmen,
private newspapers TV and radio, NGOs such as the National Peace Council
and the Centre for Policy Alternative and unfortunately, even a
misguided religious leader. As well, the comical roles played by the
past President and her tragic brother, surreptitiously subverting the
Rajapakse campaign should not be forgotten by the masses in Sri Lanka.
It is best we speak the least about this unholy alliance as its
members have been condemned to the scrap heap and justifiably tagged as
a colony of lepers. We urge those that were unintentionally coerced into
supporting their dastardly agenda to dissociate publicly. Failure to do
so will risk ongoing public ridicule.
President Rajapakse is the future. Let us savour the moment, rejoice
his win and focus on the key challenge facing him.
To usher in sustainable peace and to control the terrorist menace,
SPUR urges the President to:
1. Not to be stampeded into beginning peace talks with the LTTE
terrorist: The peace talks should begin after reviewing the Cease Fire
Agreement to rein in the ongoing terrorist activities of the LTTE and
clearly setting out the minimum critical specifications or boundary
conditions for beginning discussions. If the LTTE refuses to cooperate,
a unilateral review may be required.
2. Articulate to the people of Sri Lanka and the international
community, the alternative to the P-TOMS mechanism designed to provide
Tsunami relief. We urge the President to give this action a priority and
consider adopting SPUR's Distributing Aid for Recovering from the
Tsunami (DARP) Model as a viable alternative as it addresses most of the
concerns justifiably raised by the opponents of the P-TOMS arrangement.
3. Review the role played by Norway in facilitating talks between the
Government and the LTTE terrorist. Many in Sri Lanka and abroad believe
the Norwegians to be biased in their dealings with the LTTE. The
President should not be handed over a poisoned chalice. Hence SPUR
believes it is best that we retire Norway from the peace process and the
role it plays monitoring the CFA. Replacing Norway with an alternative
Asian nation and the merits of SARC countries taking over monitoring
compliance with the CFA should actively be pursued.
4. Encourage the international community to establish a 'Safety Net'
to protect Sri Lanka from uncontrolled LTTE terror: The President should
encourage leading nations such as India, USA, China, UK, Russia and the
European Economic Union to form an alliance and to provide a safety net
to back fresh peace initiatives introduced by the President.
5. Strengthen the armed forces by reviewing the current management
arrangements. There is an urgent need to restore the pride of the armed
forces, modernise the forces and re-appoint competent senior officers
disenfranchised by the past President to posting that would strengthen
We also urge the President to consider appointing retired officers
who carried out their military duties with distinction to important
position in the defence forces as key advisors.
6. Review of the CFA based on protecting human rights; The CFA must
be tightened to stop blatant violations by the LTTE terrorists and
reflect protecting human rights. These include assassination of military
personnel and civilians, kidnapping and recruiting children as fighting
carders, taxing civilians, destroying Buddhist archaeological sites and
violating fundamental human rights.
7. Educate the international community: We urge the President to
dispatch a multi ethnic group of eminent persons including Mr.
Anandasangaree the Leader of the TULF, Ms Fereal Ashraff, a member each
from the JVP and the JHU on a tour of key countries in Europe, the
Middle East, USA, Canada and Australia exposing the repugnant activities
of the LTTE.
The group should be lead by a senior SLFP politician such as Hon
Rathnasiri Wickremanayaka (or a person of similar stature) with
secretarial assistance from an outstanding diplomat with military
experience such as General Janaka Perera.
8. To take urgent action to restore the rule of law and foster
respect for law and order. In conclusion we urge your Excellency to be
beware of NGOs and individuals who worked day and night to subvert your
campaign. Some of them, with the intentions of befriending you have
turned a full circle overnight, praising the Mahinda Chinthanaya and
talking up your human rights record. Among these organizations is the
National Peace Council which was a persistent saboteur writing weekly to
the Daily Mirror undermining your campaign and vilifying the JVP and the
We also humbly request your Excellency to give top priority to
ensuring your security and urge you to consider working with experts
responsible for ensuring the safety of the likes of the President of
Pakistan. They are deemed to be the world's best as they have avoided a
number of assassination attempts.
May you have the vision, strength, good health and the spiritual
guidance to lead Sri Lanka for the next six years as she extricates
herself from the grips of LTTE terror and reclaims the throne as the
economic hub and the granary of South Asia.
Dr. D. Jayasuriya, President, SPUR Victoria, Australia.