PA 'to oppose country's division'
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 01:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition People's Alliance Thursday vowed to step up its campaign against the Norwegian peace initiative, saying it was decided to oppose "the division of the country and suppression of fundamental rights of opposition political activists." Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, leader of the Opposition told a press conference held at his office Thursday that the cease-fire agreement currently in force is one sided and favoured the Liberation Tigers.
The proposed interim administration will hand over the northeast to LTTE which would threaten the unity of the country, he said.
| Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, leader of the opposition addressing the press conference in Colombo, 9 April 2002. Mr.Reginold Coray, the Chief Minister of the Western Provincial council seen on the right. (Photo:TamilNet) |
Mr. Rajapakse criticised the United National Front (UNF) government for failing to serve the people as promised during the general election held in December last year and vowed the PA would fight hunger.
"The prices of essential goods have been increased. The ordinary people of the country find very difficult to run their day to day life due to the rise in cost of living", lamented the opposition leader.
A former PA minister Mr.Susil Premajayanth said, "there is no media freedom in the country. People were well aware about those government politicians who had ordered the arrest of opposition activists following the last general election."
The PA Chief Minister of the Western Province Mr.Reginald Cooray said, "all media organizations have now joined forces to hide the truth. There was total media freedom in the country during the PA regime."
Meanwhile Sri Lanka's Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris said at another press briefing that "due to the disagreement among opposition political parties in parliament all efforts to establish a parliamentary joint committee to monitor the cease-fire agreement have proved futile."
He added that the government took steps to appoint such a committee on a request by the veteran Lanka Sama Samaja Party leader Mr. Batty Weerakone. The LSSP is also a constituent of the main opposition PA.
Professor Peiris further said such a committee could also be used as a base to initiate broad dialogue on the cease-fire agreement and the negotiation with the LTTE.