UNP extends support despite "reservations"

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 January 2000, 12:24 GMT]
The United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe has informed the President Chandrika Kumaratunga that his party would support the government's constitutional proposals despite its reservations.

Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP has sent a letter to the president regarding the question of finding a political solution to the ethnic problem of the island.

Excerpts from the letter are given below:

chandrika_kumarathunge_5-p.jpgI draw your attention to the positive response I gave to your invitation to co-operate with you rising above petty party politics in the best interests of the country in order to establish a new political culture.

Despite our positive response, it is with regret that I noted your subsequent response.

It is in order to solve the ethnic problem that we signed Liam Fox agreement and agreed to a bipartisan approach. Sadly for the country that process was not taken to its logical conclusion.

As the leader of a responsible democratic party my fullest co-operation will be available in the future too to solve the burning issues facing this country including an end to the war if it is done with a sincere intention.

ranil_wickremesinghe.jpgFrom every presidential election platform it was said that the war could not be ended because I did not take action to give the required two-third majority to get the proposed draft constitution approved.

What should be included in the draft constitution and what we cannot accept had been repeatedly stated and that is no secret.

We are for maximum devolution without dividing the country.

Accordingly, we are unable to agree to the proposal to set up a Union of Regions.

It is our view that all discussions should be held with all parties to the conflict.

It is clear that the only solution you have for this burning problem is the introduction of a draft constitution.

Our proposition on these proposals is already well known. It is our position that your course of action is not the solution to this problem.

Our stand is that this problem cannot be successfully solved by the process you intend to resolve this issue.

But since you do not have another solution we will not stand in the way of the course of action you intend to adopt.

My party will support the government's constitutional proposals despite its reservations.

If you fail in this process to bring a solution, we intend to introduce a new constitution, which reflects our party principles, when we come to power in the future. We expect that your party would support such endeavor.


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