ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 19

Mahinda-Ranil summit talks set for Wednesday

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe are set to meet on Wednesday for talks on finalizing the Common National Agenda (CNA) worked out between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) to collaborate on six areas of national priority.

Mr. Wickremesinghe who is currently in Singapore after attending a conference in Australia is due in Colombo on Tuesday.

High on the agenda are the modalities of implementing the six points agreed to between the SLFP and the UNP to collaborate on the Ethnic issue; Electioral reforms; Good Governance; Economic Development; Nation Building (educational reforms) and Social Development.

This would include a proposal by a section of the UNP, and agreed to by the SLFP, for UNP MPs to sit in the Opposition but accept Ministerships and Deputy Ministerships, an issue hotly opposed by another section of the UNP.

UNP Chairman Rukman Senanayake told The Sunday Times yesterday that it would be the UNP leader who would discuss with the SLFP leader what modalities need to be put into operation to implement these six priority areas, and whether the UNP should sit in the Cabinet.

He said that thereafter, the UNP Parliamentary Group and its Working Committee would have to endorse this decision.

Mr. Senanayake said that all decisions had to be finalized by October 15, by which time the UNP would need to decide if any of its MPs should accept portfolios, or whether they would support the Government in these six areas while remaining outside the People's Alliance Cabinet.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.