SL President requests PM to continue peace talks

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 November 2003, 13:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, Friday requested the Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, to continue the peace negotiation efforts in the context of recent changes.

"President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge is of the view that there is not only clarity but also countrywide support for the settlement of ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. She reiterates however the solution should be sustainable and honourable one," senior Director General of the Presidential Secretariat, Mr.Mano Tittawela, said in a press release issued on behalf of the President in response to a statement by the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgesen.

The press release further states:

"The President says that the objective of her efforts in the past few days was to establish the clarity and support. She has appealed once again to relevant parties to put the country before self and to join hands in forming a Government of National Reconstruction and Reconciliation

"The President has made it clear in her talks with Mr.Helgesen that she will respect the ceasefire agreement. She also gave an assurance to the effect that the freedom of movement for LTTE political cadres in areas controlled by the government security forces would also be respected. On the instruction of the President, Sri Lankan armed forces have extended their fullest co-operation to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

"Taking over of three ministries by President is completely in agreement with the constitution of Sri Lanka. Unanimous decision of the Supreme Court was that solely the President of the country should hold the function of the defense. Our citizens of Sri Lanka are duty bound to abide by the provisions of the constitution.

"The President reiterated that the ceasefire agreement continues to be in place and the negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE should continue. This position has been made clear to the Prime Minister when he met the President last Wednesday

"The President has informed the Prime Minister that every assistance will be given by the defense authority to comply with the provisions of the agreement.

"The President requested the Prime Minister to continue the negotiation efforts in the context of recent changes.

"It is the President's view that the Government of National Reconstruction and Reconciliation should be established in Sri Lanka. In such situation all parties could assist in taking forward the peace process.

"The President further suggested to the Prime Minister that a committee should be appointed to ensure the smooth continuation of functions between the defense authority and the Peace Secretariat.

"The President has been engaged in discussion with leaders of political parties, members of diplomatic community and representatives of donor countries in this regard.

"The President will meet the Prime Minister next week to conduct further negotiations with regard to her proposals."

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