CCC on need for urgent progress in the New Year
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has called upon the government
to take urgent action, to secure national consensus on the devolution
proposals that were developed as the first step to solve the North East
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the All party
Representative Committee (APRC) and the Panel of Experts (PE) in July
2006 also stressed the importance of speedy and effective progress that
offers immediate relief to the individuals affected on the basis that
people cannot be kept waiting in fear of an uncertain future.
The CCC also called upon the APRC to give serious consideration to
the recommendations made by the PE, which are consistent with the
principles enunciated by the government on devolution. The CCC believes
that the recommendations of the different groups can be synthesised to
arrive at a common position which meets the aspirations of the minority
communities in the country.
The concerns expressed in certain quarters, that any form of
accommodation on devolution will be a 'stepping stone' to separation,
can be addressed by the specific safeguards contained in the
recommendations of the PE. Negotiations can be conditional upon a
commitment to non-violence and the acceptance of democratic principles
by those entering the process of negotiations.
There are examples of such successful conflict resolution initiatives
through the acceptance of principles of democracy and non-violence in
countries such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, Indonesia and more
It is through this process that the President's desire, as expressed
in the same address, to establish democratic values, political pluralism
and tolerance of dissent within the shortest possible time throughout
the country can be achieved.