Ranil promises to resolve conflict

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 December 1999, 11:39 GMT]
The Presidential Candidate of the United National Party (UNP) and the Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremasinghe, declared that if he is elected, he would stop the war. He also promised to restore the civil administration in the Northeast province, with the establishment of an Interim Council, which would include the representatives of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Wickremasinghe was addressing his first election rally in the Tamil dominated north-eastern province this morning at Batticaloa town.

He further said:

"My first duty as the President of the country, will be to end the war and to remove all check- points and to find a lasting solution to the ethnic problem, ensuring permanent peace.

The Presidential Candidate of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremasinghe, speaking in Batticaloa, 06 December 1999. He declared that if he is elected, he would stop the war.Photo:TamilNet
"People in Vanni in the north and Vaakarai in the east are today on the verge of starving without food. I will take immediate steps to provide them with enough food and other essential items without any interruption.

"Today, people in the island are finding it very difficult to travel from one place to another, without a pass from the security forces. I will remove this pass system, enabling the people to travel in the country without any difficulties.

The Presidential Candidate of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing his first election rally in the Tamil dominated north-eastern province, 6 December 1999.Photo:TamilNet
"A large number of youths of the north and east are now suffering in the prisons without judicial hearing for several years. Once I am elected, I will take prompt steps to bring those youths languishing in prisons and detention camps before court of law and would release those who are found innocents.

"First, I would end the war and bring peace to the country. Thereafter only I will start negotiations with all parties concerned to a bring political solution to the ethnic problem, acceptable to all, within the framework of the united Sri Lanka, devolving more powers to the provinces.

"Before entering into a dialogue with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, I will have consultations with all political parties in the country. After that only, I will find a political solution.

"We have to find a political solution to the ethnic problem with the participation of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam. We cannot find a lasting solution, ignoring any parties concerned.

"Whether we like it or not, we cannot find a political solution or bring peace to the country, without the participation of the LTTE.

"Ms Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge became the President of the country in 1994, promising to end the war and to bring peace to the country. But instead of finding a solution and bringing peace, she is continuing the war, complicating everything in the country. Up to now, 13 thousand soldiers have died in the war. LTTE cadres and civilians have also died.

"Chandrika has converted this island into another Somalia. If I am elected, I will make the country another Singapore or Japan. If not for war, Sri Lanka would have become a model country in the South Asia", said Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Mr. Ali Zahir Mowlana, Member for Parliament, Batticaloa district presided. Mr.A.H.M.Aswer, National List UNP MP also spoke.

Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe arrived this morning by a special helicopter. He left Batticaloa immediately after his speech.

A section of the crowd at the rally today.Photo:TamilNet


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