TNA urges UNF not to abdicate responsibility

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 November 2003, 17:18 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance Wednesday told Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, that its support to the United National Front government was totally related to the peace process and assured him its continued support to further the peace process. The TNA urged the Prime Minister that the United National Front government should not abdicate its responsibility to meaningfully continue with the peace process.

In a statement signed by the leaders of constituent parties in the TNA, Mr.R.Sampanthan, Secretary General of the TULF, Mr.A.Vinayagamoorthy, President of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Mr.A. Selvam Adailakalanathan, President of the TELO, and Mr.Suresh Premachchandran, Secretary General of the EPRLF-Suresh Wing, at the conclusion of the discussion with the PM Wednesday evening, the TNA said that its delegation emphasized, “it is the responsibility of the government of Sri Lanka to take all necessary steps to ensure that the peace process does not collapse, as a consequence of the recent developments."

The full text of statement follows:

“ A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance at the invitation of the Hon.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister, met him at Temple Trees on the 112th at 4 p.m. Associated with the Prime Minister were ministers Messrs Karu Jayasuriya, W.J.M.Lokkubandara, G.L.Peiris, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Milinda Morogoda and Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr.Bradman Weerakoon.

“ The Prime Minister expressed his thanks to the TNA for the support extended to his Government during the recent crisis.

“ The Prime Minister also informed the TNA, that at his meeting with Her Excellency the President earlier in the day, he had emphasized the utmost importance of continuing with the peace process, and that he his government had the support of the majority of members of parliament totaling to 129, to the continuance of the peace process. He had also informed the President that there cannot be a truncated responsibility for the peace process and that authority pertaining to Defense and the peace process will have to follow from a single source. The Prime Minister also stated that he was due to meet the President shortly with senior cabinet ministers, including leaders of constituent parties of the Government.

“ The Prime Minister also stated that he had met with the Ambassadors of Norway and America, Co-Chairs of the Aid Group, and that he had also spoken to Yasusi Akashi, the Japanese special envoy, and the High Commissioner for India in Sri Lanka, and discussed with them the adverse impact of the peace process, consequent to the recent developments. The Prime Minister also indicated that consequent to the recent developments, his authority as a signatory to the ceasefire agreement, and the circumstances, which prevailed at the time of the signing of ceasefire agreement, had changed.

“ The TNA explained to the Prime Minister that it’s support to the Government was totally related to the peace process and assured the Prime Minister of its continued support to further the peace process. The TNA also emphasized that it was the responsibility of the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure that the peace process did not collapse, as a consequence of the recent development.

“ TheTNA also emphasized that the LTTE had submitted its proposals in regard to the Interim Administration or Interim Self Governing Authority, and had expressed the desire to have dates fixed for the commencement of initial talks. The TNA also pointed out that uncertainty in regard to the future of the peace process, was most damaging, and would considerably diminish the confidence of the Tamil people and the LTTE in the peace process, particularly when the LTTE had submitted it’s counter proposals and the opportunity had arisen for the reinforcement of talks. The TNA urged the Prime Minister and the Government that it should not abdicate its responsibility to meaningfully continue with the peace process.

“ The statement made by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party rejecting the proposals made by the LTTE and the actions taken by the president shortly thereafter, having the effect of destabilizing the peace process, in the view of the TNA is in accord with the consistent practice that has prevailed within the Sinhala Polity of the party in opposition obstructing steps taken to evolve a just solution to the Tamil question.

“ We appeal to the Sinhala people and the international community to take cognizance of this serious impediment to the success of the peace process of the peace process.”


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