Sri Lanka is drifting towards war- Wickremesinghe
[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 December 2004, 12:20 GMT]
"The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government has not taken any forward looking steps towards peace talks or to finding a solution to our pressing national question. Sri Lanka is inexorably drifting towards war with the continued stalemate in peace talks," said Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition United National Party (UNP) at the 50th year annual convention of UNP held at the Colombo Municipal grounds Sunday morning.
Deputy leader of the party Karu Jayasuriya MP, other senior party members and Parliamentarians including Samarawickrama, Jayanthe Kauanathilaga, Prof. G.L.Peiris, Dissanayake, and Mahinda Samarasinghe, regional organisers and several thousands party activists and supporters participated in the convention.
Wickremesinghe further said: "It was the UNP government that initiated negotiations with the Liberation Tigers. Responding to the Government, the LTTE submitted their set of proposals for an interim self governing Authority (ISGA). Then Ms Kurmartunge's political conspiracy resulted in a change of Government.
"Negotiations remain stalled to this day. And the country is drifting towards war, political contradictions and rivalries are plaguing the ruling alliance. The number of Ministers has rocked to 88.
"We are ready to mobilise the people and launch a concerted campaign against the government," said the UNP leader.
"Now it has been declared that the presidential election should be held in December 2005, and if the ruling alliance or the President move to delay this people will rise against it," said the former Premier who holds ambitions to vie for the post.
Convention also resolved that Mr Wickremesinghe will be the UNP's presidential candidate. Several resolutions concerning the revitalisation of the party were also passed at the convention.
Former Deputy Finance minister Bandula Gunawardana said that the Government is preparing itself to mislead the people that it is unable to implement the budget because of the urgent financial need to strengthen the military.