Better to solve cohabitation crisis through talks - Wickremasinghe

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 05:35 GMT]
Speaking at a meeting held in Puttalam Saturday, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, said that if the current cohabitation crisis is solved through talks, it would usher in a new political culture, but if the crisis is not resolved, the public would face several difficulties, sources said.

The PM also said that the Muslims in the North East have certain problems and the government would take steps to ensure their security, especially in the East, the sources said.

The Puttalam meeting was part of Mr. Wickremasinghe’s efforts to explain his policies to the public at several places in the South.

“The current crisis has set back the peace process and the country’s economy. So the crisis should be resolved through talks. Such a solution would be a good sign of progress," said Mr. Wickremasinghe. "We don’t want to go fighting and conducting a struggle the traditional way to solve this crisis because that would only cause more difficulties to the people."

“Though the set-back to the peace process was triggered by the take-over of three ministries by the President, I have since conducted talks with her three times. But the progress in the talks has not been as good as expected, “ said the PM, adding that a committee consisting of representatives of his government and the President is continuing to look at the issue.

He said there was some apprehension among the Muslim people about the peace process, and that he understood the complexity of the problem, but his government would provide all facilities and security to the Muslim people.


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