4th January, 2004 Volume 10, Issue 25
writes to CBK, Ranil
Secretary of State Collin Powell on Friday wrote to both President
Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe calling for
an early resumption of the peace process and settlement to the political
impasse in Sri Lanka.
U.S. Secretary of State wrote a single page letter each to the President
and Prime Minister but the terminology used in the two letters were
different, it is learnt.
letters were to be delivered by U.S. Ambassador in Colombo Jeffrey
Lunstead to both the President and Prime Minister, Friday.
two letters by Powell follow a meeting, Economic Reforms Minister Milinda
Moragoda had with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage earlier in
sentiments expressed by Powell in his letters it is also learnt largely
reflect the views expressed by Armitage to Moragoda.
Sunday Leader learns the U.S. Secretary of State in his letter to the
President praises the President for commencing the peace process but
notes, she should not allow political infighting to stand in the way of
the peace process moving forward.
as further learnt, there is no reference to political infighting in the
letter to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
letters however refer to the importance of breaking the current political
deadlock and resuming the peace talks at the earliest with an assurance of
continued U.S. support.
earlier in the week told Moragoda the current political crisis was
precipitated in Colombo while Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was in
Washington and that it would have a negative impact on the peace process.
statement of Armitage, diplomatic sources said, inferred President
Kumaratunga was responsible for the current political crisis due to her
precipitate action in Colombo while Wickremesinghe was in Washington.
Powell's reference to infighting in the letter to Kumaratunga is to also
convey the same message, sources said.
had also called for a clarification of responsibilities that would enable
the Prime Minister to resume the peace process, once again inferring there
should be a return to the November 3 status quo.
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