Akashi fully supports President's stance for negotiated settlement
Japan's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Yashushi Akashi said he had
unwavering trust in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's stand that the
ultimate solution to Sri Lanka's national problem lay in a negotiated
In an interview with the Daily News at his office in Central Tokyo,
Akashi said he became acquainted with the Sri Lankan President when the
latter was the Leader of the Opposition and he (Akashi) could say with
conviction that President Rajapaksa was not a war monger.
"The President has been saying he is in favour of negotiations and
has expressed his belief that the ultimate solution is a political
settlement through negotiations. I believe him."
"I like to believe he is consistent. He is not a war monger but a
serious politician who has been mindful of the balance of power in his
"But I feel he is as interested as anybody for sustainable peace in a
multi ethnic country." Akashi said the President was amenable to peace
He was also of the firm belief that no outside solution could he
imposed for the protracted conflict saying such solutions were destined
to failure. Dwelling on the current stalemate in the peace process he
said any peace process was a tortuous path plagued by many ups and downs
and it was vital that the people don't despair.
Describing the demise of LTTE political wing leader Thamilselvan as
unfortunate, Akashi who once sat opposite the former at peace
negotiation in Hakone said the loss would represent only a temporary
setback to the peace process that would not asset the "strategic
direction of the outfit."
He also said that certain members of the Co-Chairs who felt these has
to be a linkage in the return to peace and development assistance was
concerned about the lack of progress in this direction and are
threatening to stop assistance.
Akashi however felt it was not that simple and mechanical and various
difficulties and obstacles needed to be surmounted. "But I like to
believe that the Government of Sri Lanka is working hard to remove these
difficulties and obstacles."