Cohabitation talks to end by December 15 - PA

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 November 2003, 11:27 GMT]
The main opposition Peoples Alliance said Friday that the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremanayake have agreed to conclude the current high level talks now being held between their advisors to end the political uncertainty by 15th of December, media sources said.

"Thereafter the President intends to form an all party-government to bring the current political crisis to an end," said PA media spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama at a press briefing held Friday in Colombo.

Presidential senior advisor Mr.Mano Tittawela and UNP Chairman Mr.Malik Samarawickrema have been conducting talks to find a way to sort out differences between the executive presidency and parliamentary legislature which followed with the dismissal of three UNF ministers and taking over their ministries defense, interior and mass communication by the President.

"Decisions taken at the ongoing talks will be acceptable to all political parties," said Dr.Sarath Amunugama, media sources said.

Meanwhile the UNF government media spokesman and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mr. G.L.Peiris said at a press briefing Thursday that both the Prime Minister and the President have been trying their best to find an amicable settlement to the constitutional crisis. "My government is prepared to go even beyond the Liam Fox agreement signed by the President and Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe thus signing a Memorandum of Understanding by them in the future," said Mr.Peiris.

Mr. Liam Fox was a British Minister under the then Conservative Government who brokered an agreement between President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe when he was the leader of the opposition before 2001 general election to bring out an agreement between these two leaders to find a consensus in finding a political solution to the ethnic problem during the period the Presidentís party People Alliance had a majority in then parliament, political sources reminded.

Professor Peiris further said the President and Prime Minister would review the findings of the Tittawela-Malik committee when they meet for another round of talks in few weeksí time. The MOU expected to be arrived at between the two major political parties cannot be considered as a basis for a national government. However to could help both parties to work with better understanding in the spheres of peace and economic stability of the country, Mr.Peiris said.

 

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