CWC said still undecided on support to UPFA

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 June 2004, 14:57 GMT]
The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a constituent of the main opposition United National Front (UNF), is still undecided on extending support to the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance, sources in Colombo said. Meanwhile, the Presidential Secretariat Friday denied media reports that talks were held Thursday between the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, and CWC leader Mr. Arumugam Thondaman. The media reports said that the talks had ended in failure.

" No such talks between the parties concerned were held Thursday and the media reports that appeared in some sections of the press that the talks held between Chandrika and Thondaman ended in failure were untrue," said the Presidential Secretariat in a press release.

Ms. Kumaratunge met with Mr.Thondaman when she was holidaying in Nuwara Eliya a few weeks ago at the latter's request regarding some problems affecting plantation works in the hill country, the press release said.

An English daily published from Colombo in its Friday issue, quoted the UPFA's spokesman as saying that "the prospects of the CWC joining the UPFA government receded with the talks between CWC leader Mr.Arumugan Thondaman and President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge ending in failure."

" However the government is determined to demonstrate its parliamentary majority when the parliament meets on June 8," the spokesman added.

According to the daily, the UPFA spokesman cited the demands made by CWC that two key ministries, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Housing Ministry with the subjects of Urban Development Authority, Upcountry Plantation and Infrastructure under its purview, as the reasons for the failure.

Mr.Thondaman had also put forward three demands that the Executive Presidency and the Proportionate Representation must not be abolished and the controversial Kotmale hydropower project should be abandoned, the newspaper said.

"The President has rejected the demands as giving into them would mean serious deviations from the policies of the UPFA government," English daily said.

 

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