SL President presents proposals for cohabitation

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 November 2003, 17:38 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga, Friday submitted a set of proposals to the committee that has been attempting to formulate a programme for cohabitation government comprising the two main Sinhala political parties Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), sources said.

It is envisaged in the proposals that the Prime Minister can appoint a minister to assist the President in security matters related to the peace process and the Prime Minister will be entrusted with the peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the State-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Sri Lanka Rupavahini reported Friday evening, quoting Presidential secretariat sources.

The President has said in her proposals that the minister responsible for security issues which have direct involvement with the peace process will also be given the responsibility to look into the ceasefire agreement and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. He will also be given the responsibility to co-ordinate, between the President and Prime Minister, actvities pertaining to the peace proces, sources said.

A committee will be appointed to prepare a list relating to security matters, sources said.

The President has suggested that a joint peace council should be appointed to provide guidance and to carry forward the peace talks, sources said.

The President has also agreed to allow Norwegian facilitation to continue its task as facilitator and observer of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission activities.

Presidential senior advisor Mr.Mano Tittawela and President's Secretary Mr.W.S.Karunartetna on behalf of Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge and Mr.Malik Samarawickrema (Chairman, UNP) and Prime Minister's senior advisor Mr.Bradman Weerakoon on behalf of Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe are in the committee that has been appointed to explore ways to resolve the current political crisis precipitated by the take over of the key three ministries, defense, interior and mass communication by the Sri Lanka President during the first week of November, sources said.

This committee was appointed during the second round of talks between the President and Prime Minister on the invitation of Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga to defuse the constitutional crisis, sources said.

The President's programme, according to the sources, has been based on four fields: the peace process, strengthening of democratic institutions, exemplary administration and development of infrastructure.

Referring to the peace process, the President has said that it may be possible that the stalled peace talks with the LTTE can recommence by the beginning of January next year. She also has proposed that a group of Muslims should take part in the peace talks, the sources said.

 

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