UNP to reveal its position after UPFA approves Joint Mechanism

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 May 2005, 14:23 GMT]
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) will make public its position on the Joint Mechanism proposal for a working arrangement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for post-tsunami rehabilitation of northeast only after United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government approves it with one voice, said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP and the former Prime Minister addressing a series of meetings in Sri Lanka's South Saturday, sources said. "The UNP will have to carefully study the final JM proposal before taking a public position," he added.

Mr. Wickremasinghe made his view known after rejecting the invitation from Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge for talks on Monday on the Joint Mechanism proposal.

Mr. Wickremasinghe further said that the country's burning problems would have been solved by now if the peace process launched by the then UNP government had been continued with sincerety.

Meanwhile, responding to Ms Kumaratunge's letter which expressed "dismay and regret" at the UNP's rejection of her invitation, UNP Chairman Mr Malik Samarawickrema said thata UNP has already submitted a common programme for the implementation of humanitarian effort for the tsunami-affected areas.

Ms Kumaratunge in her invitation to Mr. Wickremasinghe had called the JM proposal "Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure."

She had described the proposal as "an administrative arrangement consisting of a group of committees to be formed with the objective of ensuring an equitable and efficient utilisation of foreign aid for post-tsunami reconstruction, within a limited area of two km from the coastline, in six districts of the North East province."


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