Govt firm on devolution, APRC
Peace proposals due shortly:
General Secretary of the SLFP and Agricultural Development Minister
Maithripala Sirisena re-affirmed the Government’s firm stand of
devolving power and implementing the All Party Representative Committee
(APRC) proposals due shortly.
Minister Sirisena made this affirmation when he addressed the weekly
Cabinet press briefing at the Government Information Department
Auditorium in Narahenpita yesterday.
He said that on the directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to APRC
Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana, the APRC proposals would be presented to
the President on January 23.
The proposals would thereafter be presented to the Cabinet, party
leaders and following the appropriate amendments where necessary, they
would be presented to the people.
“In the backdrop of diverse views and theories in the political
arena, we are determined to devolve power and implement the APRC
proposals,” Minister Sirisena asserted.
The Minister pointed out that in the aftermath of the explosion in
Buttala and the massacre of innocent unarmed civilians by the LTTE, the
Nation will rally round the Security Forces to protect the country and
“The people will not take hasty decisions like in 1983, but would act
prudently to consolidate the Armed Forces in maintaining law and order
to protect the nation.
“If the LTTE assumed that they could belittle, intimidate and de-moralise
the Armed Forces by such barbaric acts, they are sadly mistaken, ” the
Responding to questions from journalists pertaining to the proper
representation of all parties at the APRC, Minister Sirisena pointed out
that the initial APRC sessions were well represented by all major and
minor parties, including the UNP and the JVP, who withdrew at a later
stage due diverse views and notions.
The Government from its very inception and within one week of
assumption of power, invited all Tamil parties to join in the peace
talks and the APRC sessions. nevertheless, it was the LTTE who had
consistently run away from the talks.
“The Government however would make sure that the proposals are
acceptable by all parties and communities prior to implementation,” he
Refuting claims that the international diaspora was concerned about
the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), Minister Sirisena said
that all these claims were heresy and not based on official statements
of the countries concerned.
He further stated that the escalation of violence by the LTTE, could
not be attributed to the abrogation of the CFA per se, as these
atrocities of the LTTE were prevalent even during the time the CFA was
Media and Information Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Anura
Priyadarshana Yapa and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena also addressed the