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Solving ethnic issue: UNP willing to cooperate with government but …

13 A provided for land and police powers
The UNP said yesterday that it was willing to co-operate with the government to find a political solution to the ethnic issue, but the the latter should stop its dilatory tactics such as the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee on the national question.

General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake told a news conference in Colombo, that numerous Committees had discussed the ethnic issue and the Rajapaksa regime had even discarded the recommendations of the All Party Representative Committee.

The problems and solutions had been debated for decades and the answers were very clear. It was now up to the government to state its policy without making contradictory statements from time to time, Attanayake said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had informed India that he was committed to 13th Amendment Plus, while some of his ministers said that land and police powers could not be devolved, Attanayake said adding that a responsible government should not behave in such a manner.

The UNPGeneral Secretary said that there had to be sincerity of purpose on national issues, and the term 13th Amendment Plus, had to be explained if the government expected the cooperation of the UNP and other Opposition parties.

The 13th Amendment provided for the devolution of land and police powers, which the Tamil parties were agitating for. Engaging in further talks was a waste of time. The need of the hour was not brinkmanship and statements to please India, while telling the Sinhalese a different story, Attanayake observed.

January 24, 2012,/by Zacki Jabbar

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