The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chandrika offered peace role

Colombo, Nov. 20 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s government offered the President a role in a peace process with Tamil rebels today, softening its stance as a committee began meeting to find ways of resolving their power struggle.

But a way out of the political crisis, which was sparked when President Chandrika Kumaratunga fired three ministers and suspended parliament, was still unclear, with neither side willing to spearhead the process to end 20 years of civil war.

Cabinet spokesman G.L. Peiris said there would need to be a consensus between Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe — whose party has a majority in parliament — in any final settlement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

“There will not only be a need to keep the (Opposition) party informed, but a need to have the opposition involved in the decision-making process with regard to an agreement with the LTTE,” Peiris said.

Wickremesinghe has said he could not take responsibility for the process with the defence, interior and media ministries in the hands of Kumaratunga.

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