Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Talking Point: Debates: South Asian
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 10:50 GMT
Your reactions to the Sri Lankan elections

President Chandrika Kumaratunga has been re-elected for a second successive term as Sri Lanka's president in a poll marred by violence and allegations of fraud.

But the result has not given Mrs Kumaratunga the sweeping mandate she was hoping for, although she may have benefited from a sympathy vote after being injured in a bomb attack.

Can Mrs Kumaratunga now fulfil her pledge to bring an end to the country's long-running civil war?

Or is Sri Lanka condemned to yet more bloodshed?

Read BBC News Online users' reaction to the Sri Lankan election result.

Tamil people voted for Ranil this time not because, they did not rely on Chandrika but, the LTTE wanted Ranil to come in to power so that they would have had fresh hopes for their dream of a separate state and they indirectly threatened the Tamils to vote against Chandrika. The Tamil people are living happily in Sinhalese dominated areas while the Sinhalese living in Tamil dominated areas are harassed by the LTTE, NOT by the average Tamil people.
Indika, Switzerland

As for the elections and the allegations of rigging. We have had rigging in elections since independence. The better rigger will always win. There is no hope. Just none!
Cadi, Sri Lanka

Only Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumaranatunga took genuine interest and efforts to solve the problem.
Tilak Abeysinghe, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Only Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumaranatunga took genuine interest and efforts to solve the problem. She offered limited autonomy through a Federal system even against some sections of the Sinhalese majority. Prabhakaran (LTTE) first accepted it and signed the ceasefire agreement.
They ended the truce unilaterally and declared war again without any explanation. What option the Government has other than the military if Tamil Tigers have no interest to negotiate. They continue to kill innocent civilians (Sinhalese) and women and children when thousands of Tamils are living in harmony elsewhere in the country.
Tamils have proved that they have no interest for a separate state. This blood shed is done by a handful of terrorists who are supported by economic refugees abroad who sell the problem at home for their own comforts in developed countries.
Tilak Abeysinghe, Bosnia & Herzegovina

It's doubtful CBK can help Sri Lanka or the Tamil at all. Sri Lankan president can start by pulling back the cruel & undisciplined SL forces from Tamil areas, then talk to the LTTE with 3rd party mediation towards peace OR continue to fool Sinhalese with her secret package she has been carrying with her and drive the economy further in the negative direction like a typical 3rd world leadership.
Sundar Bala, Eelam, Sri Lanka

Chandrika in her victory speech has made the correct decision to invite the opposition to join her in finding a common consensus to solve the current conflict. The Fox initiative was welcomed at the time by all those who hoped for a resolution. If such a consensus is achieved, the LTTE will have to rethink their strategy and perhaps be willing to open a dialogue and not practice the politics of exclusion through suicide bombing of those that are not in agreement with them.
Lionel Samarasinghe, United Kingdom

Each Sri-Lankan, whether Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim must realise that this beautiful Sri-Lanka belongs to both Sinhalese and Tamil speaking people whether they are Buddist, Hindu, Muslim or Christian. History reveals that this country was ruled by Sinhalese and Tamil kings in two separate kingdoms before the invasion by Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers.
The British united the two communities and ruled the whole country as one nation by being fair to both nations. Until the Sinhalese leaders accept this fact and recognise that Tamils are their brothers and grant them equal opportunity and frees, there will not be peace in the country or a united Sri-Lanka. If Chandrika fails to achieve this in the year 2000, there will be new Eelam born for all peace-loving Tamil speaking people in the world.
Vijayadeva, United Kingdom

It is a shame that there are people still clamouring for a separate Tamil home-land, instead of living in unity in a united Sri Lanka.
Ari DeAndrado, USA

It is a shame that there are people still clamouring for a separate Tamil home-land, instead of living in unity in a united Sri Lanka. Those crying out for a separate homeland should consider relocating to Tamilnadu and leaving the rest of us Sri Lankans, Sinhala, Tamil, burgher, Muslim or other be it may, in peace and free of terror in a united Sri Lanka.
Ari DeAndrado, USA

As long as Sinhala politicians and Sinhala media are not telling the truth to the Sinhala people there will not be peace in Sri Lanka. The solution to the problem is simple. Remove all the occupying state terrorist forces from Tamil homeland and remove all Sinhala settlement from Tamil homeland will bring the peace to the country, since there will not be any enemy to fight for Tamils.
Siva, Canada

I think for this LTTE problem CBK or Ranil cannot find any political solution because this is not a peace loving Tamil people's problem. In Sri Lanka the Tamil people are living peacefully with Singhala people in the south.
Gamini Perera, Sri Lanka

Definitely, she can run the country and negotiate with LTTE. However, the expectations of the ruling party and that of LTTE are not rational. The Sri Lankan government now should realise the fact that the LTTE are also part of their nationals and LTTE should also realise how far they can go with such inhumane practice.
Paudyal, Dhruba Prasad, Nepal

There is no racial mistrust between Tamils and Sinhalese. Tamils live in Sinhala dominated areas in peace and harmony. Terrorist group called LTTE are trying to destroy the whole country by terrorism. These groups of terrorists including the pro-tiger activists should be wiped out first so that all Sri Lankans could live in peace.
Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka

As long as Tamil politicians struggle for power and whip the Sri Lankan Tamil community into a frenzy of hatred against Sri Lanka's other communities - there will be no peace. The only way forward for a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural society is hand in hand acting as one nation. Don't look to CKB for a solution to the ethnic conflict.
Saradiel, Sri Lanka.

Without eliminating the tigers there won't be any peace in Sri Lanka.
Pandukaba , Sri Lanka

If all Singhala politicians get together and work towards the common enemy, then we can win the war, and as soon as our win we should give a realistic political solution to the north and east. The solution is main the two political parties should merge and fight with LTTE, but it does not mean fight with Tamil people, all LTTE members are Tamil, but all Tamils are not LTTE. There is no war between Sinhalase and and Tamils, but there is a war between Sinhala army and the Terrorists group.
Chandana Weerasena, Sri Lanka

Tamils will not beg for their Democratic Rights, fighting for Democratic Rights is not Terrorism. The LTTE has been fighting for our self-determination. Chandrika or any other Sinhala leaders are never going to agree to Tamil fundamental rights. The onlt solution to the conflict is if President Chandrika calls off the Sinhala forces from our territory and negotiate for the boundaries with our National Leader Prabakaran
Ananthan, United Kingdom

Identifying and owning up to the causes that gave rise to separatism by a genuine statesman and bringing in a third party for a political solution may solve the problems on hand.
Thamby, USA

The hatred has grown in to the heart and soul of the Sinhalese and Tamils. Whoever comes to power will not be able to find an amicable solution. Separation is the only way out at this stage. The peace loving people of Sri Lanka have been raising their hopes since J.R Jeyawardena's time and felt betrayed at the end of each presidential term!
S.Chandramohan, USA

Sinhala or Tamil or whoever is born in Sri Lanka, they must have equal rights to live in their own country. It doesn't matter who won the elections they must treat them equally. Today the country is having the biggest problem is politics. They fight each other for the leadership. So many innocent people are suffering from the civil war. People don't need Tamil (LTTE), They need 'PEACE'
Ranjith Fernando, U.S.A

The cycle of revenge - only reconciliation, love and forgiveness should break down the hatred and violence. The west should send more missionaries to Sri Lanka to help Chandrika do this in Sri Lanka.
Jayasinghe, Zambia

We in South Africa have broken the cycle of revenge and violence by using reconciliation. Sri Lanka needs peace through reconciliation. Both parties in the conflict should work towards this end. The Buddhist clergy should change their attitude to fit into this objective.
John James II, South Africa

The LTTE cannot be defeated until the flow of funds from its supporters living abroad stop. While the politicians, the economic refugees and the warlords are having a ball, the real tragedy is the loss of lives; hopes and aspirations of those lives are affected. What a waste!
Gnanam, Switzerland

Mrs. CBK has been re-elected once again into power for another six years. We all know that she is unable to carry out and implement her election pledges. The likes of Prabakaran will thrive as long as Sri Lanka has week leaders. Sri Lankans needs proper representation. I welcome, peace, be it via political means or by military means. This has to end now. Let us work towards unitary in Sri Lanka.
Sam, Singapore

Chandrika is the only leader to put forward a solid set of political proposals to end the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. People in Sri Lanka have voted for her with a clear majority to implement them and it is the duty of both Sinhalese and Tamils to help the government to do so. While it is possible to bring peace through a process of national reconciliation within a democratic framework, supporting terrorism would only mean war.
Suresh Fernando, Canada

Peace is the key of success in Sri Lanka. It doesn't matter who governs the country. As long as every single citizen in Sri Lanka can breath free air and fulfil their necessary needs. However, I wish the new government will not make the same mistakes that she made before. Everyone needs peace, unity and happy life. Let's get together!
Fayas Ahamed, Malaysia

Peace is only possible if Chandrika can undo what her father has done. She must make constitutional changes so that Tamil and Sinhala get equal status. The cause of survival of terrorism in Sri Lanka is due to closure of constitutional avenues. So constitutional guarantee is the first step to reduce hatred among the two races. This is the best time for Chandrika and Wickramasinga to sit together and make the constitutional changes. If they fail to face each other it will eventually lead to painful separation of Sri Lanka
RM Thanni, Malaysia

The Sinhalese majority is willing for peace as the opposition leader agrees for a National Government to solve this problem. It is now left to the Tamil Community to extend their hand and co-operation. We all together should condemn violence
Prasantha Lal De Alwis, Sri Lanka

If Chandrika is genuine she should consider herself as the leader of all Sri Lankans and start talking to the Tigers TODAY. Anything else will only confirm that she proclaims to be the Leader of Sinhalese alone...
KS Nathan, Australia

I agree with David Taylor's comment, President Chandrika is a doll. She could do only nod but all activities depend on the military Chiefs and Buddist monks. "Peace with Justice" is right way but Chandrika's "Peace with war" is madness and brutal thinking.
Kiri, UK

In Sri Lanka there are two nations, one is 'Sinhala Nation' other one is 'Tamil Nation'. British invaders made one unit the two Kingdoms as for their ruling facilities, this is the History no one can deny. Only the peaceful solution could be possible self-determination for both nations. Whoever became the President of Sri Lanka, No-one could find a peaceful solution under the United Sri Lanka. Fifty years of democracy has created bloody war and bloodshed, but no peace and harmony, in the future this will be worse.
Sivaruban, UK

Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga has made a genuine and tremendous effort to bring peace to war-torn Sri Lanka within her five years of first round rule of the country. But the cowardice attitude of LTTE dragged her with her great reluctance into the war path.
D.L.Liyanage, Switzerland

The voting pattern in the Northeast as well as in the central parts of Sri Lanka has clearly shown that Chandrika has irrevocably lost the confidence of the Tamils! Her claim that she "liberated the Tamil people from the clutches of the LTTE" stands thoroughly discredited. Now she has threatened to wipe out not only the LTTE, but also others who support the LTTE. Such empty threats have been made many others before her.
T.Manivannan, Canada

People are talking about her speech that she didn't respect Tamils and so on. The problem is not with Tamils: Nobody has respect for terrorist murders. LTTE's solution to the problem is to kill all the presidents that comes to power. And in return they expect peace for that. CBK should put all the strength to defeat the murderers not the Tamils.
Gajaba, Sri Lankan in USA

Where was Mr. Ratwatte? Has any one asked this question. When Mrs.CBK said that she could see the enemy I thought she was referring to her uncle.
Patrick Ratnaraja, United Kingdom

Mrs Kumaratunge's re-election clearly shows that majority of the Sri Lankan people whether Singalese or Tamil want peace. Although I live in Australia my family lives in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is high time LTTE understands the fact that they will never be able to rule only by the gun. What I have learnt is that in a country not only the majority should not discriminate the minority but it is the duty of the minority to live in such away that they do not antagonise the majority.
Nirmalan, Australia

In this situation, any of the government party can not bring up the peace process. LTTE also does not have any political solution for the peace. LTTE is an only military group. They do not have any political network for Tamil. Both sides need more blood shield to thing about peace. Poor Tamil and Sinhala people suffering day to day. We need to worry about those people.
Kumar, Canada

Once the Sri Lankan Sinhalese Army is withdrawn from Tamil Provinces, the very next minute, there will be PEACE in that island.
Ratnakaran, Canada

Those who praise and promote LTTE activities in Sri Lanka will one day realise that they are supporting a war that will never pave the way for a Tamil state. Because Prabakaran does not want a separate country. Can he be a democratic leader after all these bloodshed?
Jeyaruban, Australia

The Presidents re-election will bring more disasters to Sri Lanka. It is clear that she came to power by using all undemocratic tactics such as rigging , intimidation, violence. I do not believe she would solve any of the burning problems of the country.
Carl, Canada

From the Presidential election, the real loser is not Ranil, the people who voted for Chandrika. Because they don't need to wait long to see the promises made by Chandrika never fulfilled. Chandrika never get any support from Tamils who live in North and East, it can be seen from the election results. Anyone can promise that there will be war which Chandrika CAN NOT win. Let us wait and see¿
Kodees, UK

Chandrika Kumaratunga doesn't have political experience or wisdom to resolve the problems of Sri Lanka. She winning of the Presidential election is her main short term agenda.
Senivirantne, USA

The State terrorism is the root cause for all these ethnic violence in SriLanka and Chandrika is one of the main players in this role. So first she better eliminate the terrorism within herself before trying to eliminate the side effects.
Rodrigo, USA

Mrs. Kumaratunga has the accepted reputation of broken promises. She lacks the political will to rise above the influence of the Buddhist monks and the pressures of the chauvinist Sinhalese elements to treat the Tamils as equal human beings. The international community could immediately exert pressure by indirect economic sanctions by depriving Sri Lanka of the annual donations of aid from the developed nations. The aid and the forgiven loans, provide indirect funding for the repressive activities of the almost exclusively Sinhalese security forces.
Val Naga, Canada

The President's intentions to bring peace to the country might be honest, especially after she has experienced the brutal violence first hand. But she lacks the both the intellect and bravery to make bold moves to end the bloody conflict. Sadly this war will go on for at least another six years.
Siva Yogalingam, Canada.

Chandrika would not bring peace to Srilanka unless she brings a 3rd party country like[UK,NORWAY,CANADA] to the negotiation table.Till now she have not mentioned it.That means she does not want to give equal rights to the Tamil people.
Sudesh M, Canada

All peace loving people within and outside Sri Lanka should support her to bring normalcy back to Sri Lanka.
Rienzie Nanayakkara, Switzerland
The Peoples verdict in re-electing Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaranatunga as the President of Sri Lanka is a clear massage to the LTTE that the most brutal terrorist organisation in the world is to come to a negotiating table. All peace loving people within and outside Sri Lanka should support her to bring normalcy back to Sri Lanka. Democratic stalwarts, India, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and other western countries should take effective action to curb fund raising activities of LTTE within these countries, so that the war will not be sustained in the north of Sri Lanka. It is these funds that keep the terrorists going in Sri Lanka.
Rienzie Nanayakkara, Switzerland

Her swearing-in speech once again, has shown her true colour. She has no respect for Tamils or for Peace. She has learnt nothing from the last few years. But it is a great day for TAMILS, because Tamil Eelam is not far away. "Tamil Eelam will be the first child of the next Millennium".
Varathan, United Kingdom

I have recently returned from an 18-month assignment in Jaffna. The only prospect for peace will be as a consequence of a radical reappraisal of the current policies with respect to the conflict. The re-election of the President is unlikely to bring this about. Further, it was clear to me that real power in Sri Lanka is in the hands of senior military officers and it is their opinions and policies which will dictate the outcome of the war.
David Taylor, UK

There is no racial mistrust between Tamils and Sinhalese. Tamils live in Sinhala dominated areas in peace and harmony. An extremist terrorist group called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is trying to destroy the whole country by terrorism. These groups of terrorists including the pro-tiger activists should be wiped out first so that all Sri Lankans could live in peace.
Karunaratne, Australia

After swearing in as president, Chandrika Kumaratunge is still vowing and vomiting, anger, bitterness, violence, vengeance and hatred in Sri Lanka instead of forgiveness, love, reconciliation, kindness and peace
Jacob, Sri Lanka
When I read the comments given here it came to my knowledge that most of the senders (probably our Tamil brothers) say that Mrs CBK will go for war to solve the conflict. Can any one tell me what else Mrs CBK has to do when the LTTE say that they want ONLY eelam. My genuine feeling is that there are no discrimination or like but there are plenty of problems placed before the poor.
Saman, Sri Lanka

I hope and pray that the re-elected president will have more power to face the LTTE murderers in my home country. We all have come to understand that they are not fighting for Tamil people, but for Prabakan's blood hunger. If she can stop this terrorism, we can hope for a new millennium with peace and harmony between Tamil and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. We want to live and work for the best of Sri Lanka.
Shivakumaran, USA

Her speech after her re-election shows that she can cheat the Sinhala nation as long as they are very innocent. She continues to lie and didn't keep up even a single promise during her past five years office.
Vallipuram, New Zealand

e need peace, but this looks like it is not possible in the near future. Once again Chandrika has underestimated LTTE.
Nalin Soysa, Sri Lanka
W This election will result in the division of the country. Any small hope of a solution within a united nation has been shattered. Chandrika's inaugural speech shows she is going to destroy the country whatever that is left. Her reference to Tamil problem as a terror campaign is going to seal the fate of division. More violence, bloodshed and suffering are on the cards.
Ernest, USA

Chandrika cannot bring peace to Sri Lanka. She wants military solution to solve this problem. But Tamils who suffered for the last 25 years in various party rules, definitely achieve a separate country "eelam" and Justice will have to be done to them. I hope all foreign countries must support to Tamils to achieve their goal.
Silva, Australia

Looking at the marginal victory of PA president, this is the indication that the Sinhalese community have realised their mistake of pursuing war against minorities and would like to have a peaceful and harmonious life. It is obvious now that the remaining 51% will also realise this truth sooner or later and would respect human lives beyond ethnic barriers.
KG.Ellalan, Singapore

As expected, she won once again. Anybody who looks the election will understand that the election was just to cheat the people. She cannot solve the ethnic problem, instead she will lead the country towards further destruction. The world is going to see a river of blood.
Senthil, USA

How can she solve the ethnic problem when she backs the hard-line politics?
Carthi Shanmuganathan, Canada
The speech made by the re-elected Chandrika is not going to solve the Sri Lankan problem; instead it may only help to fuel for more violence. The separatist issue and violence is due to the refusal of basic rights for Tamils and suppression in Sri Lanka. Chandrika's father S.W.R.D Bandaranayake brought Sinhala issue in order to grab power at any cost. He paid the price for his dirty mentality. Chandrika also has the same blood and no one will be surprised if she does something mad. Only God can help her and guide her with what is good for the country and people. Otherwise one day, the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka may be either a separate country or part of India.
Siva, Canada

Because she knows that people didn't care much about her inability to bring peace or to stop the bloodshed (at least to the extent of not voting her out). She will definitely try to solve the problem using the military (as she has been doing so far). Unless someone who truly wants peace assumes the office of Presidency, I don't really see any solution to this problem in the near future. Sri Lanka will continue to suffer economically and socially due to those incompetent and manipulative politicians. I don't think Ranil would have been any better either. He threw the 'peace' in the hope to get re-elected, not because he truly believed in it. (If he did he had numerous opportunities to let the public know)
Anitha, India

This is a clear mandate to eradicate terrorism from Sri Lanka. Now the president must strengthen the military, motivate the people to sacrifice for the sake of the country to bring peace to this country. "Land for Peace" deal will not work in a small island like Sri Lanka. The LTTE will not keep their word.
G Rajapaksa, USA

Our chances of living in a unitary Sri Lankan state have faded even further with the re-election of President Chandrika who is poised to solved the ethnic conflict by military force. She is a Sinhalese leader driven by strong chauvinistic ideology who has inflicted severe hardship on the Tamil minority.
M Ramkumar, Canada

The results of the presidential elections have only helped to polarise the people along racial lines. The hard-line Sinhalese supporting President Chandrika and the Tamils voting against her. Her strategy is to talk peace, but prosecute war. So the chances are that the war will go on and it will be escalated.
Rajan Thangavelu, Canada

As an academic interested in South Asian politics, I am really disappointed with the president's swearing-in speech. The people's mandate for her presidency was taken as a signal to promote further bloodshed and violence in this beautiful island. She failed to address a political solution for this long-running ethnic problem.

Our chances of living in a unitary Sri Lankan state have faded even further with the re-election of President Chandrika who is poised to solved the conflict by military force
M Ramkumar, Canada

As the president pledged she MAY succeed in winning a victory over her "enemy", but not the hostility between the two ethnic communities. She sadly failed to understand that until there is a just and peaceful political solution for the Tamil people, her so-called "enemy" will survive in one form or the other.
Dr Peter McNeil, USA

Good wishes to the president in eradicating hatred between the races. Peace in Sri Lanka can be brought about only when the root causes of the problem are identified and addressed. The LTTE and the war are only the symptoms.
Bala, Canada

I salute the people of Sri Lanka for making the correct choice.
Nasser, Malaysia

The victory of President Kumaratunga is disappointing as the existing condition of no peace and disorder is going to continue with more bloodshed
Singh, USA

Great news. She is without doubt the only person tough enough to taken on the Tiger menace. She has great courage and fortitude. Now if we could only educate our generals in the field . . .
Sam, USA

The Sri Lankan Government has better firepower, greater numbers of troops etc. Yet it refuses to win this war. Why? Because they do not want to, because the war provides money through armament deals and other related factors. It also provides jobs for the thousands of unemployed youth in country thus solving that problem. We need new leaders. They will come.
King Duttugemunu, Sri Lanka

She is without doubt the only person tough enough to taken on the Tiger menace. She has great courage and fortitude
Sam, USA

I have been a very close observant of the ethnic war and have come to a conclusion. The Tamil people (I am a Tamil) do not hate the Sinhalese and the Sinhalese do not hate us. We respect each other.

There is no racism. The only problem is terrorism. And I believe if Chandrika can find a military solution to the issue then she will succeed because that is the destruction of the root cause which is terrorism. A peace plan dividing the country is impossible because our country is so small.

I wish her luck and hope I can return to my motherland and my people, both Tamil and Sinhalese.
Kumaran, Australia

In the 1994 election Mrs Kumaratunga got a majority of Tamil votes on the platform of a peaceful solution. During these past four years, she did not deliver anything but misery and hardship to the Tamil people. In this election, the majority of Tamils have rejected her. They have seen her true face and rejected her peace proposal.
Ananthan, Canada

If there is racism Tamil minority will not elect to live in the Sinhala dominated areas. They are still a crucial element in our economy, social stability and peace. The problem is terrorism, and only Chandrika can eradicate this from mother Lanka. Let all Sri-Lankans help her end this terrorism forever!!!
Parakrama, USA

I think next six years going to be a more bloodshed and displacement. "Third party mediation" is the only choice might bring peace to the country.
Kanthan, Canada

War for Peace is not the solution in this country. If she goes along with this method, there is going to be more bloodshed.
Sukjet Grewal, India

Well, what¿s new. What has she done in the last six years when she had a chance to do something about the ethnic problem? Tigers are winning the war in the north and east. It may be possible that Tamil people will have their own homeland soon by their own victory.
Devan , Australia

Chandrika is day dreaming about ending the war and crushing the Tamil Tigers through military means. The past few months have proved that the Sri Lankan Army do not have the ability to do so. I can only foresee them retreating from the Tamil Homeland. As long as she pursues military oppression, the Tamil Tigers will remain unbeatable.
Baptist, United Kingdom

The Sinhala majority has democratically chosen to have war against Tamil instead of Peace and reconciliation. Tamil people have a choice now to continue to live under Sinhala domination or fight for our (separate) nation state
Manimaran, New Zealand

Chandrika does not have the two-thirds majority needed to make constitutional changes even to implement her own watered down proposal. Unless the Sinhalese accept the need to grant full autonomy to the Tamils, I doubt that there will be peace. Tamils will not and cannot accept mere assurances from the Sinhala leaders, they need constitutional reform.
K. Perinpanathan, USA

Mrs Kumaratunga's re-election will prolong the bloodshed and will pave the way to the eventual formation of a separate state for the Tamils. From her speech, it is evident that she is going to pursue a purely military solution to the ethnic problem. Since, the LTTE also now posses sophisticated weapons and are well funded by the expatriate Tamil community, the military "solution" will dramatically increase the number of deaths and destruction. The international community can help by pressuring Mrs. Kumaratunga to go for a third party mediated solution. Foreign aid should be withdrawn until she agrees for a third-party mediated solution.
Vishnu, USA

Kumaratunga wants a partnership in which one wins and the other is left a pauper. She like all others before her cannot see the wood for the trees.
Rasanesan, UK
President Chandrika Kumaratunga should first of all fight the hatred within herself. If she has the political maturity to put aside her personal feelings against the Tamils - particularly against the Tamil Tigers - and as the president for both Sinhalese and Tamils, talk to the Tigers; she will go down in history as stateswoman who had the courage, strength, and maturity to talk to her enemies even after surviving the assassination attempt. Whether she is such a stateswoman or not remains to be seen.
Ted Antony, Canada

Her swearing in speech this time seems poles apart from her expressed vision and desire the last time round in 1994. I can see that this beautiful country is going to be dragged in to further bloodshed of innocent lives. I am so surprised that she had spurned the only offer to peace that Prabaharan has expressed in his Martyr day speech. I do not think that she or her advisers understand how the economy of the country is facing total collapse. Coming to think of it her mother did the same to this land in 1970 to 1977 when people stood on the bread lines for hours every day. I suppose those who forget the past deserve to relive it.
S Arunasalam, United Kingdom

Chandrika's inaugural speech was very disappointing. She mentions she is going to go after hatred. That is commendable but I would have expected her to tell us how she is going to do that. During her last term she disappointed many peace activists by going for only a military solution, even though she dubbed it war for peace. She had a devolution plan ( IMHO a smokescreen) that she could not get through the parliament as she had alienated members of the opposition. If she is to achieve any success, she has to go after the opposition and convince them of its importance. In my opinion, Chandrika now should not waste any more time and should immediately embark on making the constitutional changes before she calls for the parliamentary elections. Once she has made those changes, many Tamil groups might be convinced about her commitments and might be willing to work towards making this country great once again.
Indy Sieve, USA

The serial killer of democratically elected leaders should be eliminated. May the whole world support Chandrika at this time and give her strength and courage to eliminate terrorism in SL. May Tamil and Sinhala people live peacefully in this beautiful island.
Sunil Tennakoon, Australia

This is a victory for Tigers and Tamils. Her last victory made Tigers a conventional force and this one will give them a Tamil State.
Sarva Yogalingam, Canada

No matter which party comes to power, they will not solve the ethnic problem. They thrive in politics by keeping the division between people. Why is the government hesitating to have a mediator from outside the country to solve the problem that could not be solved ourselves for the last at least 16 years. If they can borrow money to fight the war, why cannot they allow an international mediator. Fair minded Sinhalese leaders have to be risen from the people to pressure the government to solve the problem without playing politics. People want to live in freedom and dignity in this beautiful land which is known now only for this war.
Jay , USA

The concept of the "war for peace" as enunciated by Chandrika's government signified a military solution. This grand military project aimed at a total invasion of the Tamil homeland and envisages the defeat of the Tamil Tiger movement and finally the eventual subjugation of the Tamil nation. Chandrika worked tirelessly for the last five years to implement her military scheme. Though the project brought about severe setbacks and debacles to the armed forces, she was determined not to abandon her military programme. Therefore, she did not reflect seriously about peace nor has she taken any constructive steps towards peace talks.
Theeapn Selvam, Canada

Sri Lanka is moving towards the total destruction of this charming island of the Indian Ocean. This has been ensured by reelecting Madam Chandrika yesterday. She is a disgrace to the nation. She has no shame. The world knows as how she won the election. She can not cheat the world no more. Sri Lanka is going to the least developed countries in the world.
Raju, Australia

Let us pause the questions: Why did she get 51% when compared to 62% last time. Does that mean people are happy with her five-year rule? In spite of rigging, thuggery and last-minute sympathy votes and high polling rate her percentage has dropped by 11%. There was no fair elections in north & east as the conditions were not favourable. If the conditions were favourable for voting in north & east then 51% would have turned less than 50%. Waht would have been the outcome? In short her election is an eye wash and enhances the doom of the country through war.
Pon Kulendiren, Canada

Peace in Sri Lanka will, in my opinion, not come with this president's role for she does not see the simple answer lies in a peaceful and justified resolution. Will it be so bad to give a small piece of the country away? The cost paid already, in my opinion exceeds the alternative: meeting the demands of the LTTE.
Hashanthi, USA

Mrs Kumaratunga's inaugural speech only confirms her paucity of intelligence. She vows to defeat the hatred (LTTE's) in Sri Lanka. This essentially means that she refuses to accept the deep and vicious hatred within the Sinhala community. A good and successful partnership is one in which both parties benefit. Kumaratunga wants a partnership in which one wins and the other is left a pauper. She like all others before her cannot see the wood for the trees.
Rasanesan, UK

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
22 Dec 99 |  South Asia
Kumaratunga promises end to hatred

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

More South Asian debates
Should India's economy be opened up?
Will Nawaz Sharif get a fair trial?
Orissa cyclone: Is enough being done?
Can there be peace in Sri Lanka?
Pakistan in turmoil - your reaction
Kashmir: Time for peace?

Links to other South Asian stories