Sri Lanka Marxist party asks government to explain to the people solution to ethnic issue

Jan 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today urged the government to clearly explain to the public its solution to the ethnic issue and accused India of exploiting resources of conflict-affected areas for their advantage under the guise of development assistance.

At a media briefing held this morning General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva said if the government has a solution to devolve power beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, then it must be clearly stated to the people.

He asked how the establishment of a Senate as purposed by the government to go beyond the 13th Amendment can provide a solution to the national problem.

“The government is talking about a senate and they must explain what the Senate is, how it will be established, who will be appointed and how it will provide a solution to the national problem,” Silva said.

The government has suggested the establishment of the senate, an advisory body to the legislature representing minority groups and academics as a “viable link between the Central government and the provinces.”

The JVP accused the government of “coming up with new concepts and passing the ball to waste time.”

The Sri Lankan government seeking consensus on a political solution with all parties represented in the parliament had appointed the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to formulate reforms to devolve power to the ethnic minorities.

However, the major Tamil party of Sri Lanka, Tamil National Alliance, which was against the appointment of the Senate, has not yet named their representatives to the PSC.

Reportedly, the TNA had rejected the government’s move and conveyed its views on the matter to the government.

A top level TNA delegation plans to visit India soon for talks with Indian leaders on the power devolution issue, TNA spokesman and parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran has said yesterday.

The government has briefed India on its proposals of establishing a senate and the PSC and India has agreed with the government proposals.

Many political observers in the country say TNA, a party once considered as an LTTE proxy party, is stonewalling the process by producing unreasonable demands.

The JVP spokesman meanwhile has accused India of exploiting the opportunities in the country’s war-ravaged areas for its own advantage by undertaking various developmental projects.

Citing the coal power plant in Sampoor in the East as an example, Silva has accused India of setting up plants in the conflict-affected areas and employing Indians to rob away the opportunities available for local Tamils.

“Tamils must understand the role of the cunning protector played by India,” Silva, has said at the briefing.

He has also charged the Indians of stealing the fishing resources in Sri Lankan territorial waters.

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