Govt., LTTE committed to resume talks: PM
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday stated that Sri Lanka had initiated a fundamental change in policy and strategy when moving away from conflict towards peace and reiterated the commitment of the Government and the LTTE to resume peace talks.

The Prime Minister stated that it was nothing unusual to find the parties involved in negotiating a durable peace to find themselves in a 'temporary impasse in the talks'.

"Within the next few weeks we should know the results of a comprehensive review undertaken by the LTTE in response to our earlier proposals regarding an interim administrative arrangement for the north and east of our country. That they should take so much time and effort can be seen as a positive sign", he said.

The Premier added that the Government will look positively at the proposals put forward by the LTTE and will do everything to keep the peace process and bring it to a successful conclusion.

"Meanwhile our collective efforts, handsomely supported by the international community and the multilateral agencies, at providing relief, rehabilitation and development to the conflict affected areas of the country proceeds apace. Economic growth is marching ahead from a negative growth of one percent in the year 2001 to a possible 6% this year and tourism is booming", Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

The role of the international community was hailed and appreciated by the Prime Minister who stated that the efforts enabled both parties to move from war to peace. "The facilitation that Norway provided has resulted in bringing the Government and the LTTE together for several rounds of negotiations. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's continuing declaration of her commitment to a political solution has been invaluable", the Premier said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe shifting his stand from the peace process spoke of the urgent need for restructuring the world body. 'As a result of the adequacy and effectiveness of the rules and instruments devised over 50 years ago, to bring order and reason to the post World War 11 international scene, are being questioned.

The apparent irrelevance of the current multilateral rules and institutions to deal with the manifold problems of today compel our urgent attention", he said.

As a first step the Premier proposed that the Secretary General and a carefully selected group of political leaders could come up with recommendations for Reforms of the United Nations. "Their recommendations could be placed before a special session of the General Assembly at which Heads of States and Governments will be presented", the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka said.

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