J-Biz appeals for creation of national govt., suspension of political activity
The Joint Business Forum (J-Biz) last week urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to form a government of National Reconciliation and Reconstruction and appealed to all political parties to voluntarily agree to place a moratorium on all political activities during the first half of 2005.

The group, after an emergency meeting to discuss the national crisis, said in a statement issued by its chairman, Kingsley Bernard that among other steps it was recommending are:

* The government should agree not to move any bills of a contentious or controversial nature in Parliament and only to move any bill if consensus has been achieved by prior discussion.

* All media including newspapers, radio and electronic media to voluntarily refrain from reporting on contentious political issues and voluntarily refrain from supporting the staging of political debates or "talk shows" which results in the existing political division in the country being further exacerbated.

* All parties in and outside Parliament to join in a concerted effort to reconstruct and rebuild the destroyed properties of citizens and other private and public institutions.

* Create awareness on disaster management amongst citizens of the country. J-Biz said that if all stakeholders can agree on these issues, "we will be able to expedite the complicated task of rehabilitating and rebuilding our country."

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