Pressing UPFA to start talks, our priority- UNP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 October 2004, 10:51 GMT]
"We are not pressuring the Sri Lanka Government or its President that the ISGA must be granted to the North-East, nor do we impose our stand. Our party's stance is that the ISGA proposals should be used as the basis to start talks and that it is vital that talks start soon", stated Ranil Wickramasinghe at meeting of the UNP Parliamentary group last Tuesday held at the Parliamentary complex, political sources in Colombo said.

Ranil Wickremesinghe (Photo: Reuters)Wickramesinghe added: "The Tokyo declaration stresses the necessity for an Interim Administration for reconstruction and development of the North East. Further, parties have agreed on a blue-print, a federal system in the areas of historical habitation of the Tamils, based on internal self-determinataion within a united Sri Lanka, for a political solution.

"The only way out for the Government. is to start peace talks immediately. We are not pressuring anyone to accept the LTTE's ISGA proposals in total. The UNP 's stance is that talks based on the ISGA proposals should be started. As discussions proceed, alternative proposals could be taken up. Delay creates severe strain on the economy as foreign assistance remains blocked.

"The JVP which had opposed the Provincial Council system and the Executive Presidential set up now goes along with them, reaping full benefits. So, the JVP will do well not to be an obstacle to the proposed Interim Administration.

"JVP now plays with people's destiny. Politics is just not a game of chess, but it is all about determining the future of the people of the country. For the first time the Opposition parties have come forward to support the incumbent Government. It is regrettable that that the President is silent with regard to the offer.

"What the people at large expect today are not political or constitutional changes. They thirst for peace and economic prosperity. If the Government fails to deliver on these, the UNP will be left with no choice but to stake its claim to take power," former Sri Lanka's premier said.


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