PA-JVP in final round of talks on agreement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 May 2003, 12:19 GMT]
The final round of talks between the People’s Alliance (PA) and the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are progressing satisfactorily and the parties expect to sign a memorandum of understanding end of the week, Mr. Wimal Weerawanse, the Propaganda Secretary and spokesman of the JVP said Thursday. The JVP says that Cease Fire Agreement and the basis of the peace talks between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo should be radically altered to nullify what it describes as “US new imperialist designs to destabilise India”.

Speaking to the press about the talks, Mr. Weerawanse said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Front government will be toppled soon once the PA-JVP is sign the MOU.

Dr. Sarath Amunugama leads the PA delegation.

The two parties have been engaged in negotiations for more than six months to bring about an agreement on forming a common political front. The JVP takes a tough stand on Colombo’s economic reforms. It says that the deregulation of the Sri Lankan economy is being dictated by the World Bank and the IMF to suit the interests of American big capital.

The PA, however, adhered to structural adjustment programs aimed at selling off unprofitable state enterprises, cutting subsidies etc., recommended by the IMF and World Bank while it was in power.

The JVP is opposed to granting autonomy to Tamils. The party argues that the ethnic conflict is fundamentally an economic one and that socialist state would resolve the conflict.

The Sinhala nationalist JVP, which professes a Stalinist brand of Marxism, also argues that Sri Lanka’s peace process is being managed by the US and its allies with the ulterior motive of destabilising India.

The party opposes peace talks with the LTTE and has hinted on occasion that war should be resumed.

United National Front sources accused the JVP of being manipulated by India to undermine the peace process.

Political analysts in Colombo say that the signing of the long expected MOU would trigger events that would eventually lead to the President taking over key cabinet portfolios such as defence and media and dissolving Parliament later.

They argue that the combined voter support of the PA and JVP would be adequate to rout Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNF when fresh elections to Parliament are called.

The talks began yesterday at the President’s House in downtown Colombo Wednesday.

 

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