Peace through devolution, federal framework, says Wickremesinghe

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 September 2005, 08:16 GMT]
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of Sri Lanka's opposition United National Party, in a letter to Sri Lanka's President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday emphasised that the solution to the national problem lay on a Federal structure to the war-torn North-East. The Presidential candidate of the UNP has invited her to join hands with him in finding a lasting solution to the national problem. Attaching a copy of the UNP manifesto, he has requested for a meeting with her to search for a common stand on which the two leading political parties, the UNP and SLFP could get together to structure a common plan to handle the problem.

"I have absolutely no doubt that despite our differences and disagreements, you believe as I do, that the only way a just peace can be established is through a meaningful devolution of power. There has been unanimity among the UNP, SLFP, the LTTE and the International Community that devolution should be on the basis of a federal framework, which will enable the power sharing between the centre and the region. The Oslo communique has spelt out such a framework for a united Sri Lanka, and found acceptable by all the parties mentioned," emphasises Wickremesinghe in his letter to the SL President.

Pleading, "At this juncture, it is vital that we do not allow the peace process to become the subject of political division; instead, seek to build further upon the platform of consensus that has already been developed between the UNP and the SLFP," the UNP leader has warned, "Futrure generations will not forgive us should we fail to seize this hour and the opportunities it offer."

The full text of the letter of Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe follows: -

Your Excellency,

PROPOSALS FOR PEACE IN SRI LANKA

It gives me pleasure to forward you herewith, in your capacity as Leader of the SLFP, a copy of our manifesto for the forthcoming Presidential Election. I wish to draw your particular attention to Chapter 15, which outlines our proposals for establishing a lasting and dignified peace in Sri Lanka, laying a foundation, for an era of prosperity and social justice.

I have absolutely no doubt that despite our differences and disagreements, you believe, as I do, that the only way a just peace can be established is through a meaningful devolution of power. There has been unanimity between the UNP, the SLFP, the LTTE and the international community that devolution should be on the basis of a federal framework, which will enable the power sharing between the Centre and the Region. The Oslo communiqué has spelt out such a framework for a united Sri Lanka, and found acceptance by all the parties mentioned.

Our manifesto builds on the Oslo Communiqué. The peace process is now approaching a stage where a common ground needs to be created between the UNP and the SLFP- the two largest political parties in Sri Lanka. As such, I would be grateful if you kindly study the proposals for peace and devolution encapsulated in Chapter 15 of the UNP Manifesto for the presidential election, following which I would be happy to make myself available for consultation, should there be any clarification necessary.

At this juncture, it is vital that we do not allow the peace process to become the subject of political division. Instead, we should seek to build further upon the platform of consensus that has already been development between the UNP and the SLFP. Future generations will not forgive us should we fail to seize this hour and the opportunities it offers.

 

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