Onus on LTTE to talk earnestly
IN yet another clear testimony to its
flexibility and willingness to forge ahead with the peace process, the
Government has told Japanese Special Peace Envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi
Akashi of its acceptance of the LTTE suggestion that Government-LTTE
talks on the Ceasefire Agreement be held outside Sri Lanka, though the
latter has gone on to specify that it prefers an Asian venue for such
This is a fresh illustration of the Government's earnest intention to
leave no stone unturned in its exertions to jump-start peace
It may be recalled that the Government had earlier stipulated that
such talks be held either in no mans land or at the Bandaranaike
International Airport, as signified by Norway, while the LTTE insisted
that these talks be held outside Sri Lanka.
Thus is the Government willing to make compromises in the search for
a just peace although the LTTE seems to be intent on being trigger-happy
and destructive in its behaviour.
It is up to the LTTE to prove that it is willing to utilise the space
that has been opened by the Government for rendering the CFA fool -
proof and promotive of peace.
In the absence of cooperative behaviour by the LTTE, the world would
be compelled to conclude that it is not at all supportive of a just
peace in Sri Lanka.
While keeping the door open for negotiations the Government would do
well to increasingly expose to the world any duplicitous behaviour by
We believe that unrelenting global pressure and expressions of
displeasure by world opinion on LTTE intransigence could compel the
latter to consider cooperating with the Government in its efforts to
bring an honourable peace.
Next, the Government should press ahead with its multiparty
consultations and speed-up the process of arriving at a Southern
consensus on resolving the National Question. Time is of the essence.
Such deliberations should be comprehensive and substantive but
feet-dragging could prove counter-productive as it is the contention of
the LTTE that the State is basically playing for time.
Accordingly, these Southern consultations should be speeded-up and
conducted within a specific time-frame for the purpose of the
maintenance of the credibility of the peace effort.
Meanwhile, comments attributed to a prominent JHU member that the
party is for "extensive devolution" within a unitary state should be
welcomed by all well-meaning sections as opinions which would be
conducive to the promotion of the peace process.
This is also proof that the Mahinda Rajapakse administration is
proving effective in moulding Southern opinion because the Government is
firmly committed to devolving power within a unitary state.
There is, no doubt, a long way to go on the road to an honourable
peace, but increasing Southern perceptions that power devolution should
form the basis of a negotiated settlement could be considered a major
breakthrough in the State's hearts and minds battle.
For, not so long ago, some influential groups in Southern Lanka
considered even the mention of the term devolution as revolting
We urge the LTTE to read these positive signs accurately. Negotiate
honestly, is our request to them.