President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday he would approach the diplomatic community in Colombo in a bid to strengthen the international presence in the country`s shaky peace process.
At a lengthy meeting with Jathika Hela Urumaya Parliamentarians at Temple Trees, the President said he would approach diplomatic missions such as those of the US, India and China and get them involved in the peace process.
The President`s assurance comes on the heels of strong warning by US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead on Tuesday that the LTTE would have to pay dearly if it chose to abandon the search for peace.
President Rajapakse also referred to the US Ambassador`s speech.
JHU`s Parliamentary Group Leader Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera also raised security concerns of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims who are not supporting the LTTE. The President promised the thera that he would apprise the Government Peace Secretariat on the matter.
President Rajapakse also said the government was doing its best to boost the morale of the armed forces.
Meanwhile a meeting with Governors scheduled for 11.30 a.m. yesterday was delayed since the meeting with the JHU members which started around 10.30 a.m. went on till 2 p.m.
With local government elections on the cards and the security situation in the North and East worsening, the President told the Governors to summon a monthly meeting with the DIG in their respective areas and submit a report on security concerns.
The President said he did not have the time to look into all problems at the same time hence the Governors had to give him a hand in assessing the needs and the problems of the people in each province.
Meanwhile, N-E Province Governor and Governor`s Conference chairman Tyronne Fernando briefed the President at a one-to-one meeting on the security situation and continuous hartal campaigns staged by various groups in Trincomalee crippling the daily life in the town.
The Governors also complained to the President that the Finance Commission chairman was not consulting the Governors prior to releasing funds, giving rise to various problems.
The President promised to sort out the matter with the chairman.
Governors Alavi Moulana, Tyronne Fernando Reggie Ranatunga, Tikiri Bandara and Jagath Balasooriya were present.