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 Post subject: Chandrika ("Eva Peron of Sri Lanka") Loves Power -
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:51 am 
Chandrika ("Eva Peron of Sri Lanka") Loves Power - Sunethra Bandaranaike

H. L. D. Mahindapala - Reporting from Melbourne.
- Asian Tribune -

Melbourne, 13 July, (Asiantribune.com): On Tuesday night in a TV interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation President Chandrika Kumaratunga denied she was after power. She said: “Power gives me the authority to do what I think should do to the country.”

But when her sister, Sunethra Bandaranaike, was told that the President does not like power, she replied forthrightly: “She likes to believe what she says. She loves power. She thrives on it.”

The two sisters were interviewed separately by Michael Maher of the Foreign Correspondent Report.

Maher told the President that the people think she is the Eva Peron of Sri Lanka– the First Lady of Argentina who was the power behind the throne of Juan Peron, the populist dictator.

President Kumaratunga parried the question saying: “History will tell.”

In the same interview, the Jesuit priest, Fr. Harry Miller of Batticoloa, a straight-shooting critic of the President, said that she goes by the French dictum: “L’État, c’est moi” (This remark is attributed to the French monarch, Louis X1V (1638-1715). He is supposed to have told those who wanted to reduce his authoritarian role through a separation of powers: “I am the state”!).

Fr. Miller said that she interprets everything in the light of her interest to succeed and also to the glory of her family. He added: “She can say the most outrageous thing and we are afraid as to what she would say next.”

Fr. Miller emphasized that war seems to be the only way to go forward. Neither party is capable of talking to each other. The Army is building security bunkers all along the routes of Batticoloa and the LTTE is recruiting at a pace, he said.

When Michael Maher asked the President whether war is inevitable she denied that war clouds were gathering again. She denied that the nation is very close to a war and said that the Cease fire Agreement has held for three years. Then she said emphatically that the Tamil people have been oppressed and that she is the first to say so at election meetings which was a risky thing to do. She said that Tamils have been discriminated and she is determined to correct the situation and share power. She added that she is deeply convinced of it.

Michael Maher then told her that the concessions give to the Tamils have not stopped the bloodshed.

President Kumaratunga said that she had to run away after her husband was assassinated (“by left-wing rebels,” said Maher). She went abroad for three years. “But politicians in Sri Lanka are selfish. They did not give me time even to mourn.

They forced me to come into politics. I had finished most other things. I am now determined to finish one more thing,” she said, meaning power-sharing.

President also told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that there is moral decay in the country and the Bandaranaike dynasty too had contributed to it. She said that she accepts responsibility by default.

The interview ended shortly after Michael Maher told her: “It seems to me that you have no intention of going anywhere.

- Asian Tribune -

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