Ranil on Thailand peace talks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 August 2002, 16:01 GMT]
"We cannot fix a time table for peace talks. We cannot put forward a concrete proposal to start peace talks. First, we must take steps to understand the basic problems of the other side. Thereafter only both sides could continue the peace process. However, the goal is to find a permanent solution to the problem without dividing the country and upholding the democratic ideals," said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe when addressing the final day deliberations of the United National Party national executive committee meeting held Saturday in Trincomalee Mc Heyzer stadium.

Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe further said "Today I have come to Trincomalee without bullet proof jacket. Last year when I came to Trincomalee to address election meeting I was wearing bulletproof jacket. This shows the peace environment now prevails in Trincomalee after the ceasefire agreement."

ranil_wickremesinghe.jpgThe Prime Minister said that Thailand peace talks would commence in September this year. The duration of the first phase talks will be three days. No problem will arise during the first phase of talks. Later, problems could be expected such as setting up of interim administration and the difficulties faced by Muslims.

The Prime Minister said that the interim administration would be established according to the Constitution of the country. His party during 1990 presidential election and in parliamentary elections held in 2000 and 2001 publicly announced in its manifesto in support of an interim administration in the northeast if it comes to power.

"I hope the peace talks would end in success as the people of the country have firmly decided to achieve peace," said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.

"We are on the process of removing army camps from schools and places of worships in the northeast province according to the ceasefire agreement. We will consult Muslim parliamentarians regarding the removal of army camps in their areas," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.


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