The government on Thurday dismissed an unclear ultimatum from the LTTE to resume peace talks, saying that it won`t be dictated to or get excited by it.
Constitutional Affairs Minister D. E. W. Gunasekera told yesterday`s cabinet press briefing in Colombo that peace talks cannot be resumed in a hurry just because the LTTE starts issuing ultimatums.
Asked about LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran`s unclear deadline `until next year` given for the government to come up with a viable proposal to resolve the ethnic issue, Gunasekera said `We are not going to be dictated to, nor get excited by Prabhakaran`s ulitmatums. All aspects have to be gone into before the resumption of peace talks.`
Cabinet spokes-man and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that commencing next week the government will begin consultations with all political parties to obtain their views on how the ethnic issue should be resolved.
`We have invited all political parties to submit their proposals which would be discussed bilaterally first.Thereater they could be taken up together.`
However, he did not explain how Rajapakse and his allies, the JVP and JHU, would be able to convince the UNP and even the SLFP led by Chandrika Kumaratunga to change their policies especially in regard to the ethnic issue.
Both the UNP and SLFP favour a federal solution to the ethnic issue .During the presidential election campaign both Kumaratunga and Anura Bandaranaike repeatedly urged Rajapakse not to deviate from SLFP policies.
Even the views of NUA and LSSP on resolving the ethnic issue differ from that of the Mahinda-JVP-JHU combine.
Yapa, claimed that the `three month implementation period of Mahinda Chintana` had not commenced yet since he was only beginning to settle down.
`Let us give the President some time to implement his manifesto.The budget would clearly set out the Rajapakse governments policies.`
Rajapakse, speaking after being sworn in as President said `We are Asians and I will work closely with Asian countries.But I would also maintain links with other countries.`
He, also reiterated his election pledge of resolving the ethnic issue within a unitary state, which the majority of the southern electorate voted for at the presidential election.