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Anura fires warning to Govt. over Sampur

Cautions over complacency, says political solution absolutely necessary for ethnic conflict

“You have only wounded a Tiger. If you wound a Tiger it is more dangerous because it will bite,”

“You may have taken control of Sampur but to be complacent about it is foolish.”

“War is not the solution to the problem…”

By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
Minister Anura Bandaranaike told Parliament yesterday the country should not be lulled into a sense of complacency after taking control of Sampur, A political solution was absolutely necessary to solve the ethnic problem.

Speaking during the emergency debate, Mr. Bandaranaike said “You may have taken control of Sampur but to be complacent about it is foolish.”

“You have only wounded a Tiger. If you wound a Tiger it is more dangerous because it will bite,” he said.

He said that involvement in war made leaders unpopular as happened to US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr. Bandaranaike said that in global popularity ratings, George Bush had come down from the 32nd position to the 63rd position, after seven years of ruling.

He said that Tony Blair remained in office even when his party wanted him out, though latest reports said he would quit by July next year.

The minister said that the popularity of both leaders had fallen to such low levels due to their intervention in Iraq.

“Iraq is a battlefield of corpses today. But war is not the solution to the problem, he said.

Mr. Bandaranaike said that even if the LTTE is wiped out the major grievances of the Tamils would take root and cause a bigger crisis later unless a political solution was ensured.

He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had reached out to the UNP across the political divide to solve the problem.

“This will bring 85 percent of Sinhalese together. We should also reach across the divide to the TNA and the SLMC as well,” he said.

He said that Muslims are an integral part of the problem, and their role in this task had to be ensured.

Commenting on a federal solution, the Minister said his father the late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was the first Sinhalese to talk about a federal solution in 1938.

He said that some sort of federal solution was needed to solve the problem by winning the hearts and minds of the Tamil people.

He said that both former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and he subscribed to such a stand.

He also said though we took control of Sampur, we should be able to hold on to it.

He quoted Napoleon Bonaparte who said ‘It is easy to conquer a nation, but it is difficult to hold on to it.’

Mr. Bandaranaike said former Pakistani High Commissioner Basheer Wali Mohammad had accused RAW for the recent attempt on his life in Colombo. He said the allegation were made without a shred of evidence. -Daily Mirror

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September 7, 2006 - Posted by | Media Journalism, News and politics, South Asia, Uncategorized, World News

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