Sri Lanka's President meets outgoing PM

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 April 2004, 16:15 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, and former Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, held talks Wednesday that lasted for about two hours at the President's House. The talks centred on various subjects including the resumption of peace talks with the Liberation Tigers (LTTE), informed sources said.

Presidential secretariat sources said the meeting was mainly a courtesy call by the former Prime Minister. But opposition sources said that Mr. Wickremasinghe met with the President on the latter's invitation.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kumaratunge in her address to the nation Wednesday said she was prepared to find a permanent solution to the ethnic question through negotiation. She said steps would be taken to bring in a new constitution to abolish the Executive Presidency system and new electoral reforms. For this purpose she would explore the possibility of setting up of a constituent assembly, sources said.

The new Prime Minister, Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, Wednesday visited Kandy and obtained blessing from the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters for his new government. He later in the day visited his own electorate, Tissamaharagama, down south of the country.

Mr.Rajapakse addressing gatherings in Kandy and Tissamaharagama said his new government would take immediate steps to bring down the cost of living and also would take steps to resume peace talks with the LTTE to find a negotiated settlement, sources said.

 

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