Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama asserted that the Government is awaiting the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) proposals which have now entered its final phase, to seek a sustainable and negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict.
Bogollagama made this assertion in Kampala on Thursday, when he met United Kingdom`s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs David Miliban on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Foreign Ministerial Conference Sessions, as part of several bilateral meetings Bogollagama intends to hold there.
`The APRC proposals represents a broader view of the stakeholders to the conflict, inclusive of the political parties external to the Government, the Tamil political parties in particular. We wish to address the Tamil leaders, the Tamil community, its diaspora and all the Tamil political parties objectively, in terms of the APRC proposals,` he told his British counterpart.
Bogollagama assured that while seeking to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the Government would consistently keep its doors open and welcome the LTTE to join and become a stakeholder in the process of seeking a negotiated political solution to the crisis, despite the LTTE`s indulgence in ruthless terrorism.
He lauded the United States for its effort in banning the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), which was a front organisation of the LTTE, in reference to its clandestine operations in Sri Lanka, in the guise of humanitarian rehabilitation work.
Bogollagama outlined the Government`s normalisation programme in the Eastern Province, with greater emphasis laid on infrastructure development and humanitarian issues.
`We are not only addressing issues in the three districts of the Eastern Province, namely Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee, but also addressing the issues of the people in Jaffna, who have faced difficulties due to the lack of a land route, following the destruction caused by the LTTE to checkpoints at Muhamalai and Omanthai.
Therefore, we are now striving to supply the Jaffna people by sea. We will also address their humanitarian issues and their security problems,` the Minister added.
He maintained that the Commonwealth should adapt a flexible approach to Pakistan in their dispute with them.
Foreign Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the UK Kshenuka Seneviratne also participated.