UNF, TNA, JHU boycott SL President's Council on Peace

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 October 2004, 01:58 GMT]
United National Front (UNF), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) boycotted the event as Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga inaugurated the National Advisory Council on Peace and Reconciliation (NACPR) Monday afternoon in Colombo. NAC has been publicized by the Sri Lanka Government as a mechanism to seek "wide spectrum of views" to resolve the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka.

The inaugural meeting of the National Advisory Council
Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha.
Ms.Kumaratunga had invited all political parties represented in Sri Lanka's parliament, religious digitaries and cross sections of Civil Society to participate in the NAC.

The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) new partner Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, many religious leaders and members of Civil Society participated that inaugural meeting.

President Chandrika Kumarathunga, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, Leader of Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) Mr. Douglas Devananda Leader of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Mr. Saumyamoorthi Arumugan Thondaman, Leader of National Unity Alliance (NUA) Mrs. Ferial Ashraff, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Deputy President Mrs.M.M.Shahire, Mawathu chapter Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhatha Maha Nayake Thero, Asgiri Chapter Most Ven. Udagama Sri Dhammadassi Ratanpala Buddharakkitha Maha Nayaka thero, Ven. Davuldena Gunanissara Maha Nayake Thero, Hindu Vidyanithi Brahmasri S. Kuhananda Sarma, Moulavi M.H.M.Buhari, Archbishop of Colombo Most Rev. Oswald Gomis, Marga Institute's Dr. Godfrey Gunathileka and Foreign Minister Mr. Lakshman Kadiragamar addressed the NAC.

The inaugural meeting of the National Advisory Council
The Archbishop of Colombo Rt.Rev. Oswald Gomis and Buddhist Monk Valiwitiyaway Kusaladamma Thero.
A media release issued by Sri Lanka President's office said, “The NAC will be a broad-based national forum that will provide a means for the people of this country to contribute towards a political settlement and work towards reconciliation. The NAC will comprise three standing committees namely, a political, religious and civil society, which is, expected to consult, so as to ascertain the widest possible spectrum of views on how to bring about a negotiated political settlement and peace with dignity and democracy.”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse who made the opening remarks said the Government is fully committed to a negotiated settlement of the ethnic crisis. He said the negotiations with the LTTE will be transparent and will be in consultation with all democratic political parties and all sections of the civil society.

Sri Lanka's President Kumaratunga in her address said the National Advisory Council for Peace and Reconciliation is part of her Government's policy for peace. Her Government she said is committed to do everything required to persuade the Liberation Tigers to return to the negotiating table. But added any agreement to bring peace will be within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, guaranteeing the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and the security of all its peoples.


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