PM seeks talks with Opposition Leader
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 August 2001, 17:25 GMT]
The Prime Minister Tuesday invited the main opposition United National Party for official talks for the formation of a national reconciliation government, in a fresh bid to bring the present political crisis to an end. "Early talks could be held if the United National Party agreed to the proposals of the People's Alliance Government," said Prime Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, in a letter to Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, the Leader of the Opposition.
Government proposals have also been sent to the Opposition Leader with the invitation.
"Immediate priority should be to bring the armed conflict to an end through a negotiated settlement to the ethnic problem. Both parties should jointly endeavour to engage the LTTE in a constructive negotiation and make constitutional agreement to guarantee the rights of minority communities", said Prime Minister in his letter.
Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake added, "an alliance between the government and United National Party could only be justified by the adoption of an agreed program of action for the common need of the people and the country. The continuing social and economic welfare of the people should be the paramount consideration in this program."
The Prime Minister further said, "priority should be in the electoral reforms that would popularly reflect the majority will of the people while guaranteeing equitable representation of minority communities."
He said, "urgent attention should be given for the abolition of Executive Presidency, strengthening of parliament and the position of the Prime Minister."