PSC – a step in the right direction to evolve a political solution  – Udaya Gammanpila

By Franklin R. Satyapalan

The Deputy General Secretary of the JHU and Western Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday appreciated the government’s move to appoint a PSC to find a solution to the national problem.

"We agree to the formation of a PSC as it means holding direct talks with the TNA. Otherwise, the President has to continuously keep his coalition partners briefed of the progress and going back and forth on agreements and disagreements", he said.

When the President talks to the TNA, he is the sole bridge between the government and the TNA and in keeping his coalition partners informed tends to be a tedious and time-consuming exercise. The PSC comprised of one representative from each party would overcome this problem, he explained.

"With the PSC, we can make it more transparent by having a dialogue with the TNA in the presence of other coalition partners".

When an agreement had been reached by the President it should be placed before the Parliament for enactment of laws and for implementation of what was agreed on

For example, then President Chandrika Kumaratunga formulated a political package after five spending five long years. Although it was approved by the Cabinet she could not implement it as it was rejected by Parliament , Gammanpila recalled.

"So bringing a solution through the PSC is a very pragmatic approach which would be acceptable to all concerned", he pointed out.

Since 1958, it has been the practice for Sri Lankan governments to enter into agreements with Tamil political leaders from time to time and in certain instances the government in power had the blessings of the main opposition. But, Sinhala nationalists came on to the roads with the Maha Sangha to protest . The government had to reluctantly withdraw from these agreements under such pressure, he said.

The Sinhala nationalists who have concerns about a solution should be included in the talks so that they would also have an opportunity to voice their concerns. This can happen if there is a PSC, he noted.

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