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Politics


Twin blasts stir mixed reactions

By Wilson Gnanadass and Jayashika Padmasiri
With war clouds overshadowing the festive mood, one wonders whether the UPFA government has any clue as to how civilian deaths should be managed due to war operations.

The twin bomb blasts that took place in the heart of the city rocking the entire nation have definitely caused more civilian deaths. In the case of the second bomb blast in Nugegoda, it was evident that even the police officers were unaware of certain procedures in handling something suspicious, like a parcel bomb.

Last week’s blasts, despite tight security, that sent shock waves throughout the country, have led to more chaos and tension in the city of Colombo. But one thing was certain – LTTE penetration.

Speculations were also rife that this could change the fate of the government after the third reading of the budget scheduled for December 14.

Though most of the political parties that voted with the government during the first budget had second thoughts about the third reading, they did not wish to make any commitment right now.

Some of the minority parties pointed out that it would not be possible to overthrow the government until the JVP was in power. They said if they voted against the government and if the government did not fall, then they would be in a precarious situation and could even be further penalised.

Meanwhile as civilians were finding it difficult to get over the shock and come to terms with the reality after the blasts, politicians as usual were fast to blame each other and get mileage from the incident.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) was all out to blast the government in turn, over the twin blasts, saying it was the lack of foresight that led to this situation.

While the UNP was blaming the government, the government members conveniently put the blame on the LTTE, concealing the security lapse, and pretended as if nothing happened to the economy of the country or even for that matter the tourism.

While the major political parties of the country were playing ‘politics’ as usual, the minority political parties were terrified over the behaviour of both these parties and also the LTTE.

The twin blasts also saw many innocent Tamils and Muslims being taken into custody for questioning. They also curtailed the movements of many VIPs and VVIPs.

The Nation spoke to most of the political parties for their comments, and received mixed reactions to the incident from different political parties.

Many politicians, on the condition of anonymity blamed the government for its wrong war strategy. They also accused Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for his recent statement that the government will kill LTTE Leader Prabhakaran. Collectively they criticised the government’s rigid policies to overcome terrorism.

Severely condemning the LTTE’s ruthless attacks on civilians, everybody in unison, except the JHU and JVP, said at least now, political negotiations should commence.
Following are excerpts of the interviews:

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