Kumaratunga promises political solution in 2000

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 August 1999, 16:35 GMT]
A political solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict will be found in the year 2000 said President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga addressing a massive rally of party members and supporters this evening in Colombo organised to mark the fifth anniversary of her People's Alliance coalition.

She called on the Sinhala people to exert pressure on the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to help her government settle the conflict.

chandrika_kumarathunge_1-p.jpgThe Sri Lankan President claimed that the Tamil people of the country are urging the Liberation Tigers to find a peaceful solution ethnic problem. The Sinhala people should do the same with regard to the UNP and the JVP she asserted.

"I have solved eighty percent of the problems created by the Liberation Tigers" the President claimed in her hour long speech in Sinhala. She claimed that she had cleared Sri Lanka's reputation that had been tarnished by the Tigers internationally.

Kumaratunga said that her government is making efforts to find a peaceful solution that will recognise the distinct identity of all ethnic groups in a united Sri Lanka.

The President outlined the economic achievements of her government such as the increase in per capita incomes, the reduction of inflation by 5 percent and the management of the budget deficit.

State run media claimed more than five hundred thousand people had taken part in the procession and rally in Colombo today. Independent observers and TamilNet correspondents in the city estimated the crowd to be around two hundred thousand which nevertheless was, according to them, an impressive show of strength by the ruling PA.

The procession started from the Sugathadasa Stadium near downtown Colombo around 11 a.m. this morning and wound its way to the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) grounds at Havelock Town in the southern sector of the city.

The procession was almost eight kilometres long and reached the BRC grounds around 6.30 p.m.

The President began her address around 8 p.m.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress was the only coalition partner that took part in the march through the city. The leaders of the Communist Party and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, however, took part in the rally. Another constituent party of the PA, the Lalith Front, boycotted the procession and rally.


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