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Lanka: Fonseka says consultation before decision

[Express Buzz, Thursday, 7 January 2010 20:15 No Comment]

The joint opposition Presidential candidate, Gen.Sarath Fonseka , has said that he will not express a view on the question of re-merging the Northern and Eastern provinces to form a single Tamil-speaking province, because a decision on an issue of such great national importance cannot be taken without wide consultations.

“It is a matter of national importance and I, as an individual, cannot decide without prior consultations with all the stakeholders,” Fonseka told Express after he released his election manifesto here on Thursday.

“Parliament will have to discuss the issue and get the required support for any change in the status quo,” he added.

Asked if he had discussed the issue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and as alleged by his rivals, given them an assurance that the North and East would be merged, Fonseka said that he had not discussed it with any party.

The TNA too said that there had been no agreement with Fonseka on specifics. There had only been a broad agreement on the approach to the ethnic question, the TNA had said.

However, the rival Mahinda Rajapaksa camp has gone to town saying that Fonseka and the TNA had reached an agreement on bringing about a re-merger and re-laying the foundation for a separate Tamil Eelam. Rajapaksa had even declared that no merger would take place under his administration. He said that he did not believe in giving unrealisitic promises, unlike Fonseka.

MANIFESTO

The election manifesto of  Gen.Fonseka is general in nature.Titled ‘Vishvasaneeya Venasak or Believable Change  it is woven around a 10 point agenda.

The agenda includes restoration of democracy and winning peace; eliminating fraud and corruption; helping families become financially secure; easing the cost of living; starting a process of national reconciliation; restoring health services and reviving and invigorating education; empowering women; provision of jobs for youth; laying the foundation of a just and disciplined society and  safeguarding the security of the nation.

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