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‘November’ decisive month for Sri Lanka.




by R. Jayadevan

(September 02, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) With the heavy drum beatings in the South that victory in the war against the LTTE is imminent and the sombre feeling amongst the LTTE support base, the war situation in Sri Lanka is heading for a another muddied stage. Month of November is crucial for the government of Sri Lanka and LTTE. Both are engaged in an inconclusive military campaign for over twenty five years.

The main protagonists of the war are expecting to score points before entering the month of November. For the government, it is the most dreaded budget process that has to be passage through in the parliament by the President who holds the post of Finance Minister. The 2007 budget was passed by a narrow majority following an acrimonious process of skulduggery and highhanded manoeuvring by the government, resulting in the extremist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) somersaulting from its original position to vote against the budget. If the JVP did not rescue the government in the last minute, the politics of Sri Lanka would have taken a different turn.

Having offered its support, the JVP expected sympathy from the government. The turn of events since then caused serious problems for the party. Behind the scene political massaging divided the party into two. This break up is expected to cause more harm to the government support in the parliament. Weerawanse faction ousted from the party is expected to give unmitigated support to the government and the party controlled by Somawanse is expected to rebel against it. The government has a hectic task to win over Somawanse faction in the parliament to support the budget. If Somawanse decides to abstain from voting, the budget will pass through its passages without much trouble.

On the LTTE front, November is a crucial month in its annual calendar. Its leader Pirabakaran’s 54th birthday followed by hero’s day celebrations are crucial events. The current status quo of the LTTE in the battle front is not a healthy situation for it to project a boisterous and buoyant image for its support base. Pirabakaran’s 2007 speech was the weakest of all the Hero’s Day speeches and it reflected sheer desperation. His appeal to the diaspora Tamil community to come to the rescue did not materialise except for some desperate and unsuccessful campaign work carried out by the hardcore LTTE men. Thanks to the western governments to keep the LTTE men on the tab.

There is wider expectation within the LTTE support base that its Thalaivar (Leader) will do miracles before his November 2008 speech. These hardcore elements are expecting Pirabakaran to give a decisive blow to the government to bring them to his knees in this hopeless situation.

With the unfavourable rainy weather season in the North, the government forces too are expected not to make decisive advance into the LTTE controlled Vanni.

With the Colombo leadership that is unwilling to empower the Tamils to be part of the Sri Lanka with the substantial devolution of powers and the estranged LTTE that lacks political vision and political leadership are progressing the country into calamity. The show piece All Party Parliamentary Group which is presently considering devolution of powers may come to its natural death if the months leading to November cause political thunderstorm in Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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