P-TOMS out in PM’s manifesto
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's manifesto for the November 17 presidential elections vows to uphold the unitary status of Sri Lanka and pledges to replace the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) with a new Jaya Lanka programme.

These were the two critical issues on which President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga raised issue and wanted Mr. Rajapakse to make immediate changes. However, a Committee headed by the Premier and named by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has rejected President Kumaratunga's demands and endorsed this manifesto.

A copy of the manifesto was flown on Friday to President Kumaratunga who is now in London. Prime Minister Rajapakse is to declare that his prime objective is to have a peaceful political solution empowering all communities. He is to reject concepts of traditional homeland, self determination etc. -- key demands made by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) periodically.

Premier Rajapakse is to say he would recognise Sri Lanka's independence, territorial integrity, unitary status, the national identity and peaceful co-existence in arriving at a national consensus. Such a consensus is to be placed for approval by the people at a national referendum.

Whilst the process of formulating a consensus continues, Premier Rajapakse is to announce that he would open direct talks with the LTTE. He also wants to meet its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. He is to say that he wants to have an "open agenda" to get the LTTE to end separatism, disarm, enter the democratic process and enter into a final solution to the ethnic problem.
The manifesto is to be formally presented to the public at a ceremony on Tuesday at the BMICH. Copies are to be handed over to representatives of political parties backing the Prime Minister, today.

Premier Rajapakse is to declare his intention to have what he calls a "balanced foreign policy." He is to have "priority" discussions with India on this matter, and strengthen relations with China, Russia and Pakistan. He is also to announce that he would have open discussions with donor co-chairs the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway.

Pointing out that priority will be given to tsunami reconstruction efforts in the North and East, Premier Rajapakse is to have a 'Jaya Lanka' programme to re-build the North and East with representatives of the people from these areas as well as people's organizations.

He is also to declare that he would give the LTTE a specific time frame and a specific agenda. If all the discussions are successful, he wants to announce that he will set up a Constitutent Assembly to draft a new constitution. He is to declare that he would get the opposition also involved in this effort. The new constitution is to be placed for public approval through a referendum.

Mr. Rajapakse is also to announce the review of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) between the Government and the LTTE in what he terms in a manner in which terrorist activities have no place. He is to offer regional co-operation in the monitoring process of the CFA.

(Please see the political commentary and the Situation Report by Iqbal Athas)

Top  Back to News  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.