UNP willing to talk peace

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 December 1999, 11:23 GMT]
Ranil Wickremasinghe, the opposition United National Party Presidential Candidate, has welcomed the statement by the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Mr V. Pirapaharan that he is prepared for talks to find a political solution.

In a response to questions aimed at determining whether the Liberation Tigers were serious in political talks, Mr Wickremasinghe replied: "Now they (the LTTE) say they are prepared for talks. Then we have to talk with them. Only a political solution achieved through talks would help us to establish permanent peace in the war-torn island."

When asked to spell out on what basis the UNP was going to talk with the Liberation Tigers, Wickremasinghe said that first step should be to restore normalcy in the north-east. If the establishment of an Interim Administrative Council would help to restore normalcy, then we would take steps in that direction, he told reporters at a press conference this morning at his official residence.

In a reply to a further question, Mr Wickremasinghe said that he was not against seeking third party help for talks with the Liberation Tigers. He was also not interested in becoming embroiled in a battle of terminology as regards the third party mediation or facilitation.

 

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