Search for Solution Must Include LTTE and Bipartisanship- NPC

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 May 2003, 10:45 GMT]
Noting that, "the history of governmental efforts to resolve the ethnic conflict in the past have foundered on unfulfilled promises and agreements that were not underpinned by an appropriate legal foundation," the National Peace Council in a media release issued in Colombo today said that, "it is important that the government should find a way to establish a legally-based administrative system for the North East that would recognise the equal participation of the LTTE."

The full text of NPC's media release follows:

The National Peace Council welcomes the LTTE's expression of willingness to resume the negotiation processs and participate in the Tokyo donor conference next month if it receives a favourable response from the government. The formal request made to the Norwegian facilitators for the establishment of an interim administration for the North East is an indication by the LTTE of a way out of the present deadlock in the peace process.

As requested by the LTTE, it is important that the government should find a way to establish a legally-based administrative system for the North East that would recognise the equal participation of the LTTE. We note that the history of governmental efforts to resolve the ethnic conflict in the past have foundered on unfulfilled promises and agreements that were not underpinned by an appropriate legal foundation.

The NPC believes that the North East interim administrative council should comprise the LTTE on the one hand, and the government, major opposition party and other parties on the other hand. This would reflect the plural nature of society and give all parties a stake in governance and responsibility. Relief, reconstruction and development work should take place with the inclusive participation of the representatives of the ethnic communities inhabiting the north and east. The interim administration should function according to agreed and enforceable principles of transparency, accountability and human rights.

We urge that whatever course of action the government finally decides to take in its response to the LTTE, its approach must be one that includes the LTTE in an equal partnership together with a policy of bipartisanship between the government and major opposition party. We recognise that it was the government and LTTE's consensual approach up to now that enabled the sustainability and success of the peace process.

There is now a further need to enlist the support of the opposition in taking the peace process forward. The creation of an interim administration, as demanded by the LTTE, would require constitutional amendment for which opposition support is indispensable. Therefore, if a sustainable peace process is the goal, then it is imperative that the consensual approach should be regained and strengthened as the first priority.

 

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