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Won’t be deterred by economic curbs: Rajapaksa

[Express Buzz, Monday, 4 January 2010 11:12 No Comment]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared on New Year’s day that he would not be cowed down by any economic sanctions imposed by countries which wanted to interfere in the international affairs of Sri Lanka.

“We will not be held back by threats of economic sanctions or withdrawal of trade concessions by those who seek strategic interference in the national affairs of Sri Lanka, at a time when our people are moving towards a decisive stage in the political development of the country,” Rajapaksa said in his message to the people. The economic sanction he was alluding to is the European Council’s recommendation to the European Union (EU) countries to deny the zero duty trade sop to Sri Lanka under the GSP Plus (Generalised System of Preferences) regime citing human rights violations.

“We remain committed to a strengthened and sustained friendship with the countries that supported us in full measure to defeat terrorism,” he said.

TAMIL LEADER PASSES AWAY: Periyasamy Chandrasekaran (52), Minister of Social Equality and founder-leader of the Up-Country Peoples’ Front (UPF), a party of Indian Tamil plantation workers, died here on Friday.

TNA REJECTS OFFER: The once pro- LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has rejected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s offer of ministerial berths after the next parliamentary elections, if it supports him in the Presidential election.

The Tamil daily Virakesari said on Friday that when the TNA leaders, R.

Sampanthan and Mavai Senathirajah, met Rajapaksa earlier this week, the President had said that he would like the TNA to join his government. TNA presently has 22 MPs and is the most popular party in the Tamil speaking North and East. But the delegation told Rajapaksa that the party was interested in securing for the Tamils their rights.

JAFFNA VEERING AWAY FROM BOYCOTT: Opinion in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna is veering away from an election boycott to voting for the United National Party (UNP) backed Fonseka.

[Full Coverage]

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