14th December, 2003 Volume 10, Issue 22
Malik - Mano talks collapse
Ranil prepare for polls
Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday informed the Sri Lanka Freedom
Party (SLFP) organisers that she will be signing an agreement with the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) very shortly and to prepare for snap
Kumaratungaís call comes in the backdrop of reports that the Mano-Malik
talks to end the political gridlock following President Kumaratungaís
take over of three ministries had virtually collapsed by Thursday.
Kumaratunga informed the SLFP organisers that the talks between her
officials and Prime Ministerís nominees had not made any progress and
that the curtain will fall on those talks tomorrow, December 15.
officials committee, which met on Thursday at Temple Trees, failed to
reach agreement on two sets of proposals forwarded by President
Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
President has said that she will not hand over the Defence Ministry to the
government but has proposed the appointment of a national security
minister from the government to be in charge of north east security.
to the Presidentís proposal all military activities and operations
within the north east would be gazetted under the national security
her proposals stated that the armed forces and the national intelligence
services would be directly under the President.
rejecting the Presidentís proposals the Prime Minister had submitted a
compromise formula stating Kumaratungaís arrangement was not workable in
practical terms due to the inevitable confusion that would follow over the
Prime Minister had proposed that the President retain the defence
portfolio with all defence related issues to be decided at the National
Security Council to be chaired by the President.
Wickremesinghe had proposed that the armed forces and the intelligence
services should be gazetted under the Prime Minister or the proposed
National Security Ministry.
Prime Minister had pointed out he would not be in a position to take
responsibility for the peace process without control of the defence
Thursday Presidentís senior advisor Manor Tittawela informed Prime
Ministerís nominees Bradman Weerakoon and Malik Samarawickrema that the
President had rejected the Prime Ministerís proposals.
is learnt that Samarawickrema had informed Tittawela that given this
gridlock they should formally conclude the talks on Friday to enable the
respective parties to take their political decision, given the inevitable
breakdown of the talks.
it is learnt had on Friday morning informed Samarawickrema that the
meeting be postponed for Monday to formally end the talks.
Minister had on Friday informed the UNP hierarchy to prepare for a snap
poll, a message he was to repeat to the UNP convention on Saturday.
President who briefed the SLFP organisers on Friday called upon her
members to ready for an election but indicated she would first go for
Kumaratunga had also given a time table to the organisers targeting
February/March to finish all their organisational activities with a view
to facing elections.
organisers had however urged the President to first hold a general
election which proposal however was strongly opposed by several MPs.
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