PM on self-determination

"A political solution with internal self-determination while safeguarding the territorial integrity was revealed at yesterday’s press conference held by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and Mr. Anton Balasingham. Taking cue from this positive reaction we must commit ourselves to trek the difficult path towards a permanent solution", said the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the government parliamentary group meeting held today at the parliamentary complex."Self-determination could be defined in many ways that could stretch into an extensive range. That even may go up to a separate state".

At the press conference yesterday, for the first time they have defined self-determination. They mentioned about "internal

self-determination". They further said external self determination should only be considered if the internal self-determination is unsuccessful. This has given us an indication of several points we should take into account in our journey towards a political solution. This also points towards hopefulness for a political solution in an undivided Sri Lanka. Provincial Council system that was introduced by the 13th Amendment also sought to do the same thing. But they said the self-determination provided for them in the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord was not sufficient. Majority of the country also agree with that opinion. So, what we should try to find is a political solution that goes beyond the Indo-Lanka Accord, in an undivided Sri Lanka.

Governing systems with internal self-determination are in operation in many countries in the world. It is not an unfamiliar system for us. We had this system in our own country during the Rajarata Kingdom era.

At this press conference, LTTE has paid attention to rights of Muslim people in the East. Our ancient kings have settled Muslim people down in the Eastern area. It is a positive sign that the LTTE has agreed to negotiate rights of Muslim people.

We have to be realistic and admit that it is impossible to get an armed group into the mainstream politics overnight. The JVP that resorted to armed terrorism in 1971 took a long time to join the mainstream politics".