Politicians, businessmen hail SLFP, UNP consensus
Meanwhile Education Minister Susil Premajayantha commended the
historic pledge made by the SLFP and the UNP to shed all political
differences with the objective of achieving a long awaited goal.
"However, the aim of both parties are to find a lasting solution to
the North -East problem for the betterment of the people in the
country," he added. UNP, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake yesterday
welcomed the decision taken by the country's two oldest political
parties, the UNP and the SLFP to work together for the common good of
the country and its people.
Speaking to the `Sunday Observer", Attanayake said that even the
general masses will extend their gratitude towards these two main
parties for joining even at the crucial moment with a sole objective of
bringing a lasting solution to the decades old ethnic conflict.
"This new political culture will definitely bring a fruitful results
to six key issues of national importance as they will directly benefit
the people in the country," he said.
He said among these key issues, both parties are expected to focus
much attention towards the most important ethnic issue and the economic
development in the country.
"Without seeing any development in these two sectors, we cant move
further as a proud nation,"
Muthu Sivalingam, Minister, Ceylon Workers Congress:
That the two main parties of this country have arrived at a consensus
to work together can be considered on historical event. Yet, I wish to
appeal to the SLFP and the UNP to make clear their stance on two
1. The United National Party has long been advocating a Federal
solution to the national conflict. Its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe
campaigned the last Presidential election with that pledge. But, as far
as I know, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has never acknowledged a Federal
solution. What would be the position of the two parties on this issue?
2. I have reservations about the electoral reforms which the
government is planning to introduce in the near future. Such move will
have adverse effects on the representation of the minority communities
in the parliament. If amendments are made and the new electorate system
brought in, it will severely affect the plantation community. It can
lead to a position where only the two main parties predominate the
N. Raviraj, Parliamentarian, Tamil National Alliance:
It is a very positive move because I am of the view that these two
parties are responsible for the present situation of the country. They
are the ones who have been ruling this country since the independence.
Therefore, by aligning together, they can come at a common settlement
for the national issue. We look upon this move with a lot of hope. They
should resolve the national conflict by talking with the LTTE. At this
moment, I appeal to the other parties, especially the JVP and the JHU,
to follow the suit of the UNP and join along with the government in
order to achieve peace.
P.Chandrasekaran, Minister, Leader, Up-Country Peoples Front :
I am not aware as to what was discussed in the meeting between the
SLFP and UNP. What matters most is the motive behind the union of the
two main parties. If all the national parties would join hands and
strive for peace through negotiation, the Up-Country Peoples Front will
welcome such a move. But the coalition should not lead to a destructive
Navaz Rajabdeen, President FCCISL
This is a positive, bold and patriotic decision taken by Deputy
Leader of UNP Karu Jayasuriya. Deciding to support the government at
this stage he has demonstrated his positive thinking, but a few in the
party are opposing this move.
The business community welcomes this move and we all will support it.
If major parties are for peace and development all other minor parties
will fall in line. FCCISL believes that this alliance should have been
formed earlier but better late than never.
A. K. Ratnarajah - Chairman, Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI),
The CNCI welcomes the positive move by the two major parties to work
on a common agenda for peace and prosperity in the country.
If the two major parties could come together and resolve the burning
issues it would be a landmark achievement to the country.
The chamber looks forward to see peace, stability and the country
being placed on a solid growth path towards achieving economic
prosperity for all people.There cannot be any growth without developing
basic infrastructure facilities such as roads, highways, ports, power
generation and other vital sectors.
There should be a healthy opposition to express views on all issues
relating to the welfare of the people.
Jayanath Perera Chairman, Sri Lanka Shippers' Council
Development of the country's infrastructure could not take place due
to party politics that has been there since independence. If not for
party divisions infrastructure development would have taken place and
the country would have been much better than what it is today.
If there is a national plan it would be the best for the country. The
shipping industry is being badly affected due to the poor road system.
The delay in commencing development work on the Colombo South Harbour is
leading to Sri Lanka losing its hub status, Jayanath said.
Sanath Imbulamurai, A marketing analyst,
The performance of the Stock Market has been positive with the
initiative taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to invite the opposition
to work on a common agenda. The collaboration between the two major
parties would eliminate political division and focus on national
Asst. Manager People's Bank, Headquarters, Channa Weerasinghe It
would be good if both parties could be honest since we cannot trust
their motives. The decision taken by the two major parties to work
towards building the country is welcoming.
Crishantha Hettiarachchi, Managing Director, Foto focus,
The country has been backward in development because of the party
politics. If the two major parties could come together and work on a
common agenda then the country will be on a growth path. If the two
parties turn out to be dictatorial then the country may have to suffer
A Managing Director of a leading garment industry, Daya Pathirana
The time has come to put an halt to the division in the country.