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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
see the political commentary
and the Situation Report by