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14 January, 2008 - Published 16:46 GMT

Peace envoy 'intimidated' JVP

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's political ally, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says that a Japanese peace envoy intimidated the party.

JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath told BBC Sandeshaya that Yasushi Akashi told the party that Sri Lanka would lose international aid if the government fails to come up with a political solution for the national question.

The Japanese special envoy who arrived in Colombo on Sunday has met President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Monday.

'No interviews' with BBC

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, president's secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona, and Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka also took part in the discussions.

When contacted by BBC Sandeshaya, Dr. Kohona said he doesn't speak to the BBC.

In the meeting held on Sunday with the envoy, MP Herath said the JVP urged Mr. Akashi not to work on 'to strengthen separatist terrorism'.

"We told him that Japan that work together with the American forces in Afghanistan against terrorism should not support Sri Lanka's separatist terrorism," Vijitha Herath told BBC Sinhala.com.

Mr. Akashi for his part stressed the need for a political solution instead of a military one, Mr . Herath added.

If Sri Lanka failed to find a political solution, Yasushi Akashi has warned, that the international community would have no option but to stop financial aid to Sri Lanka.

Japan, a member of the co-chairs of Sri Lanka's peace process, is Sri Lanka's biggest financial donor.

"He did not say the financial aid will be stopped; It was rather an attempt to intimidate," Vijitha Herath said.