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Political impasse widens in Colombo

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 November 2003, 11:25 GMT]
The political gap between UNF and PA widened today as Prime Minister earlier today said he is prepared to face an immediate election while the President in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister has demanded to form a "Grand Alliance of all national and patriotic forces" with the objective of forming a "Government of National Reconstruction and Reconciliation".

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Mr. Wickremeshinghe, the President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga today invited to "discuss the current political situation in the country" said a press note released by the Presidential Secretariat.

It stated further that "during the proposed meeting the President will seek the views of the Prime Minister and senior members of the United National Party on her call for a Grand Alliance of all national and patriotic forces, with the objective of forming a Government of National Reconstruction and Reconciliation."

In the meantime UNF parliamentarians are consulting with constitutional experts to examine the procedures to reconvene the Parliament.

The Prime Minister's office denied earlier reports on the talks being postponed. The decision is to be taken after the LTTE's views are received through the Norwegian Foreign Deputy Mr.Helgesen, who is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka today, said sources at the Prime Minister's office. Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen will, as planned several weeks ago, visit Sri Lanka from 10 to 13 November to have meetings related to the ongoing peace process, said the Norwegian embassy in a press release issued today.

Excerpts from the press release follows:

"On Tuesday Mr Helgesen is scheduled to meet with Hon. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in the afternoon. He is also meeting the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mr. Rajapakse, Hon. Mr. Rauf Hekeem and other muslim representatives, Hon. Mr. Kadirgamar and representatives from Tamil National Alliance. He will also meet with religious leaders and with the EPDP and PLOTE on his first day of his visit.

"Mr. Helgesen will on Wednesday meet with H.E. President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandanaraike. He will also meet with different civil society groups and representatives from international donor agencies.

"On Thursday morning Mr. Helgesen will travel to Kilinochchi to meet with the leadership of the LTTE.

"Mr. Helgesen has not planned to hold any press conference during his visit this time."

Related Articles:
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10.11.03   UNF prepared to face snap elections - Peiris
10.11.03   Speaker to entertain request to reconvene parliament
10.11.03   Getting tough on the Tigers
09.11.03   UNF to bow out of Peace Process?


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