|Saturday, 5 April 2003|
by Ranil Wijayapala
All democratically elected parties should be at the negotiation table when the country reach a final agreement on a system of government as a solution to the problem in Sri Lanka, John Hume the Northern Ireland Nobel Peace Price winner said yesterday.
Addressing the media after his meetings with the President, Prime Minister, the LTTE and representatives of other political parties, yesterday in Colombo John Hume said that the final agreement should be forwarded for the people's approval through a referendum.
"The last word to the solution will be with the people not with the politicians", he said.
Talking about the Northern Ireland experience in conflict resolution John Hume said that all parties in their proportionary government work together in reaching a final solution to the problem.
The final solution should be approved by the people. "Once its approved by the people it would be enormously strengthened and it is the duty of the parties to implement the will of the people", he said.
He said that the only way to solve the problem in a divided country is to reach an agreement. And the only way to reach agreement is through dialogue.
"When an agreement is reached and when they are talking to reach the agreement the government and all other parties should be at the table".
"Violence has no role to play in solving conflict in Sri Lanka. Here the people are not divided" he said.
Commenting on his observations on Sri Lankan's peace process he said that the Sri Lankan peace process is in an advanced stage. "Here you have commitment from the parties to keep in dialogue to reach agreement", he said.
He said the most important thing is that when the paramilitary organisation say they have stopped violence, they are telling the truth.
"That is the most important thing. It consist of the decommissioning issue. They can handover bombs. If they are telling the truth they should move out of the street. There won't be any form of violence"
"I have no doubt people in Sri Lanka want lasting peace. A majority of the people in Sri Lanka need a system of government which confirms lasting stability and lasting peace in the country.
Produced by Lake House