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APRC proposals going in circles

[DailyMirror, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 06:57 No Comment]

The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) which has completed its proposals for a power devolution formula is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon to obtain his views and incorporate them together with those of other party leaders in the final document. 

“We have completed the draft proposals. We hope to meet President Rajapaksa as the leader of the SLFP, the biggest party represented at the Committee and then we will meet other party leaders individually,” APRC Chairman and Minister Tissa Vitharana said yesterday.

The APRC which was appointed by the President in 2006 was mandated to work out proposals for the resolution of the national question. It had met at 128 sessions with representatives from 13 political parties taking part. Eleven of the 13 political parties represented were government allies while the other two parties — the SLMC and the Democratic People’s Front being the only parties from the opposition.

The UNP, JVP and the TNA did not participate at the APRC sessions but Prof. Vitharana said he would meet the leaders of these three parties too to seek their views on the proposals. “The committee may have to meet a few more time to discuss the ideas espoused by the leaders of these political parties,” he said.

Meanwhile, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said his party would not meet the APRC chairman to discus its proposals.

“We walked out of the APRC when it discussed proposals that are beyond the mandate given at the 2005 presidential election. It is time for the government to begin a dialogue based on the people’s mandate. The JVP worked hard to have President Mahinda Rajapaksa elected to office and we see no reason to meet the APRC for any discussions,” he said.

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