2ND LEAD (Added full text of the MoU)

Ruling SLFP, opposition UNP sign MoU

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 October 2006, 08:04 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), main constituent of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Monday signed a 10-clause Memorandum of Understanding to implement a four point common national agenda. The UNP, under the 2 year long MoU, said it would "extend support to the Government in the pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the on-going conflict while opposing terrorism in all its manifestations and upholding human rights."

The common national agenda includes identified four issues following four rounds of discussions commenced on September 15 between the leaders of the SLFP and UNP. The issues are Conflict in the North & East, Electoral Reforms, Good Governance and Social Development

Minister Maithiripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the SLFP and Malik Samarawickrema, Chairman of the UNP signed the MoU at 12:13 p.m selected by both parties.

The event took place at the Temple Trees in the presence of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse and UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Earlier the Cabinet of Ministers met Monday around 10:00 a.m. with Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse in the chair and unanimously endorsed the draft MoU. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake proposed the signing of MoU with the UNP. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera seconded it. On Sunday night the central working committee of the SLFP unanimously ratified the draft MoU.

Full text of the MoU follows:

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE SRI LANKA FREEDOM PARTY AND THE UNITED NATIONAL PARTY TO COOPERATE KEY ISSUES VITAL FOR THE NATION'S WELL BEING

Preamble:
This Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party represents the inauguration of a new political environment eagerly awaited by the public of this country, which replaces the hitherto existing politics of confrontation with the politics of active cooperation on national issues, in the interests of the nation.

On October 12, 2006, H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the Head of the Government and the Leader of the SLFP, and the Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and the Leader of the UNP, after careful and sustained deliberation have agreed to collaborate in addressing the national issues in regard to peace, good governance and development.

The Parties, recognize that the fundamental challenge that stands in the way of the realization of the goals of peace, good governance and development is that of a just political solution acceptable to all communities.

In pursuance of the objectives referred to above, we, Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the SLFP and Malik Samarawickrama, Chairman of the UNP hereby declare our agreement to cooperate as set out below:

  1. The plenary meeting of the Delegations of the two Parties discussed the following papers submitted by the sub-committees for presentation to the two Leaders:
    1. Conflict in the North & East
    2. Electoral Reforms
    3. Good Governance
    4. Social Development
    5. Proposed structure for collaboration


  2. The two Parties will cooperate with each other in the areas enumerated in Clause (1) (i) to (iv) above. The issues referred to in Clause 1 (v) above, including the modalities for collaboration, will be implemented at an early date after further direct discussion between the two Leaders and acceptance by the appropriate bodies of each of the two Parties.

  3. The United National Party in Parliament will support the Government to implement the policies and programmes in the areas enumerated in Clause 1 (i) to (iv) above.

  4. The United National Party reiterates its commitment to extend support to the Government in the pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the on-going conflict while opposing terrorism in all its manifestations and upholding human rights.

  5. The United National Party in Parliament shall extend its support to the government to achieve a negotiated settlement to the on-going conflict.

  6. The Leader of the United National Party will nominate two Members to the Representative Committee of the All Party Conference.

  7. Both Parties agree to expedite the resolution of the present impediments to the effective operation of the 17 Amendment to the Constitution and to finalize the passage into law of the amendments under consideration to the 17 Amendment.

  8. Both Parties will observe the accepted political and democratic norms applicable to governing good relations.

  9. The time frame during which this Agreement will remain operative will be two (02) years from the date of signing hereof.

  10. Both Parties agree to the establishment of a High-Level Committee headed by His Excellency the President and the Leader the Opposition (including an equal number of representatives of each of the two Parties) to oversee the implementation of the above agreements arrived at between the two Parties and to cooperate with each other in regard to the resolution of any disagreement which may arise in the course of implementation of this Agreement and the policies and programmes set out in Clauses 1 to 8 above, and the fulfillment of the agreed national agenda, so as to achieve just and durable peace, good governance and sustainable development in Sri Lanka.


Maithripala Sirisena
General Secretary of the
Sri Lanka Freedom Party


Malik Samarawickrama
Chairman
United National Party


Signed this day, 23rd October 2006, in Colombo

 

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