3rd Lead (Adds photos)

JVP for elections -Amarasingha

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 January 2004, 14:29 GMT]
Leader of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Mr. Somawansa Amarasingha, said Thursday his party is for holding general election in Sri Lanka soon, addressing a massive public meeting of the new alliance between the JVP and President Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party in Colombo.

Somawanse Amerasinghe, Leader of JVP

In this rare public appearance, Mr. Amarasingha said the people need not fear that there would be violence if there is an election.

The JVP leader's statement comes amidst assurances from President Kumaratunga she will not dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections.

Mr.Amarasinghe, addressing the maiden rally of the United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA), said all steps would be taken by the UPFA to defeat the United National Front (UNF) government at the next general election and to salvage the country from economic crisis and political chaos.

Leaders of the SLFP, JVP, National Unity Alliance (NUA), Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and Eelam Peoples democratic Party (EPDP) attended the rally, sources said.

Mr. Amarasinghe added that in the two year rule of the UNF government the economy of the country is on the decline. "If we allow the UNF to continue to govern, economy of Sri Lanka will be in ruins and NorthEast will be moving towards separation," said Mr.Somawanse Amarasinghe.

Peoples Alliance (PA) parliamentarian Mr. Mangala Samaraweera said the new alliance would talk to all political groups including the LTTE. "We will not hold secret talks with any political groups. We will adopt transparency in our political discussions," said Mr. Samaraweera, sources said.

UPFA Rally in Colombo
Section of the crowd attending the UPFA rally

MEP leader and parliamentarian Mr.Dinesh Gunawardene described the formation of the UPFA as a force that could salvage the country from the current destructive policy of the UNF.

PA general secretary and parliamentarian Mr.D.M.Jayaratne said peace meant protection of rights of all ethnic groups. "We cannot allow the country to be divided under the guise of peace talks with the LTTE," said Mr. Jayaratne.

He said there have been differences of opinion on some policies between the SLFP and the JVP. However these can be overcome within a common framework to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

JVP parliamentarian Mr.Anura Dissanayake said that under the current economy policy the UNF government has been attempting to hand over natural resources of Sri Lanka to foreigners.

UPFA Rally in Colombo
Section of Buddhist monks attending the UPFA rally

National security faced many threats under the UNF government until President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge took over the key defence ministry. President's forthright measures have improved the defense of the country, he added.

EPDP former parliamentarian Mr.S.Sivathasan said problems of Tamils and LTTE are not the same. Problems of Tamils should be solved through discussions with the Tamil community.


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