President urges 'political solution'

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 February 2000, 12:17 GMT]
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today appealed to the leaders of all political parties and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to join the government in its efforts to stop the war and find a political solution to the ethnic problem.

President Kumaratunge didn't attend the official Independence Day celebrations held at Jayawardhenepura today morning due to security reasons. But the State media, quoting officials sources, said that she was indisposed and was asked to rest for few days.

chanrika_kumarathunge_4-p.jpgHowever, the President addressed to the Nation from her official residence Temple Trees.

Excerpts from her address is given below:

"Today the people of the country want an end to the war, irrespective of various political opinions. It could be achieved only through by negotiations.

People of the country voted me to the highest office for the second time to bring the war to an end.

Both sides in the present conflict have sustained heavy losses. But the war still continues.

People have now decided to cure the wounds they created. That is why now they have given me a mandate for the second time .

One opposition party and a violent group are now opposing the efforts of the government in finding a political solution to end the present war.

I appeal to the leaders of all political parties to lend their support to the government efforts to bring peace to the island by finding a political solution to the ethnic problem thus ending the cruel war that is devastating the younger generation and economy of the country.

I appeal to the LTTE also to join hands with the government to bring the war to an end and find an acceptable solution to the ethnic problem.

The greatest challenge facing the people of Sri Lanka in the new millennium is to put an end to the wasteful war we are embroiled in and bring about peace.

I appeal to you all to first join together abandoning all narrow attitudes, differences and all such divisions so that we can achieve that most necessary and urgent goal of peace before we attain our other objectives.

It is an urgent duty of every citizen to co-operate with the government to put an end to the war."

The ceremonial opening 10 February 1948 of Sri Lanka's first parliament six days after independence from Britain. Sri Lanka's first prime minister of independent Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, is seated on the extreme left while the Duke of Gloucester presides.Photo:EPA PHOTO AFP/GOVERNMENT ARCHIVES/ (FILES, BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE)


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