By Shamindra Ferdinando
Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray yesterday said that the deadly cache detected at Meesalai, Chavakachcheri had been brought there to cause destruction.
The armaments couldn’t have been brought in for a peaceful purpose, Governor Cooray said, asserting that moderates always attracted the wrath of extremists. The NP Governor was addressing the media at his Battaramulla office.
Asked whether President Maithripala Sirisena could have been targeted by the LTTE, Governor Cooray said various theories could be propagated. The former minister said that he could claim that he was being targeted whereas others may claim that various other individuals and places were the likely targets.
Cooray recently succeeded H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, former Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the NP Governor.
Responding to criticism that the Chavakachcheri detection underscored a severe threat posed to national security, Governor Cooray said that a vast majority of people supported on-going post-war national reconciliation process.
However, those who could not stomach the reconciliation process had been engaged in a campaign to sabotage the process, Governor Cooray said. Fresh violence could cause irreparable damage to the on-going initiatives, Governor Cooray said, adding that the vast majority of victims were ordinary civilians from different communities.
Political party leaders had been provided with security, he said. In an obvious reference to extremists on both sides, Governor Cooray said that the on-going reconciliation process was being ridiculed and undermined and the imminent revival of terrorism propagated to cause anxiety among the people.
Cooray said whatever the differences the contentious issues had to be resolved through negotiations.
The media had been divided and fighting a bitter battle with different political parties pursuing contradictory strategies at the expense of post-war national reconciliation. Although 30-year war had been brought to an end in May 2009, reconciliation was yet to be achieved, the former parliamentarian said.
Governor Cooray castigated both Tamil media, including those based in the Jaffna peninsula and Sinhala mainstream media for propagating lies. The Governor cited as an example the recent controversy in the media pertaining to an alleged directive given by the Government Agent of Jaffna to the chief incumbent of Nagadeepa temple not to construct a Buddha statue. He said the media and various interested parties continued to manipulate public opinion for their personal gain. The SLFPer alleged that both Tamil and Sinhala media had failed to reflect actual public opinion much to the disappointment of those unable to express themselves.
Cooray alleged that the coverage of the Nagadeepa controversy was meant to cause turmoil both in the North as well as the South.
The Governor said President Maithripala Sirisena had earned the appreciation of Tamil speaking people and perhaps no other Sinhala leader had received such accolades.
The government was committed to pursuing the path of national reconciliation though challenges remained due to various reasons, particularly the failure on the part of political parties to reach consensus on the national issue, the Governor said.