Sri Lankan Buddhist party slams anti-Indian move

February 28th, 2008 - 11:29 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, Feb 26 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Buddhist party has condemned the anti-India campaign of the ultra nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) saying that such a campaign will prevent India from supporting the island’s fight against Tamil separatists.
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), which has a large number of Buddhist monks, said Monday that by urging Sri Lankans to boycott Indian goods, the JVP was alienating the Indian government, whose support was necessary in the fight against separatism and terrorism by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“We need India’s support, not opposition,” Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Island daily.

Recently, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe had called for a boycott of Indian goods if India did not stop “interfering” in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs by “forcing” the Sri Lankan government to devolve power to the minority Tamils living in the north and east of the island country.

India had welcomed the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s decision to “fully implement” the devolution package contained in the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution, which, in turn, had been inspired by the India-Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987.

The JVP has been organising meetings to whip up public sentiment against an alleged Indian bid to revive its hegemony over Sri Lanka.

Sri Warnasinghe said that the JVP was “exaggerating” the role of foreign powers in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that although India had sent in its troops in 1987, it withdrew them in 1990, after the then Sri Lankan president, R. Premadasa, sought their withdrawal.

Likewise, the Norwegian peace brokers withdrew gracefully when President Rajapaksa said that they had no role to play after the war with the Tamil Tiger rebels was resumed.

Warnasinghe said that high-pitched public campaigns like the ones organised by the JVP would not stop foreign interventions, only quiet diplomacy would.

The JVP’s obsession with foreign interventions only showed its “bankruptcy” of political ideas and its “short-sightedness,” he said.

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