Saturday, 04 September 2004  
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Main reason confidence in President:

CWC announces unconditional support to UPFA Government

by P. Krishnaswamy

CWC leader Arumugan Thondaman

The Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) will extend its unconditional support to the UPFA Government, party leader Arumugan Thondaman MP announced yesterday.

"A main reason for this decision was our confidence in President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera. We took this decision to assist the Government to go ahead with its development programmes and re-start the long stalled peace progress," Thondaman announced at a media briefing in Colombo.

"During the last five months, the CWC which closely observed the difficulties which the UPFA minority government was facing in taking forward development programmes and the peace process decided to extend its unconditional support to the Government," Thondaman added.

The eight CWC Parliamentarians would extend their unconditional support to the Government so that it would not be impeded in its development programmes which are needed for the future welfare of the country, he said.

The CWC with its eight MPs would maintain their independence while extending their support and cooperation to the Government in a similar manner as they functioned during their previous alliance with the UNF government in the best interests of the country, he said.

Answering questions from pressmen whether the CWC welcomed the peace process to re-commence on the basis of the controversial ISGA proposal of the LTTE, Thondaman replied in the affirmative saying the talks have to start from some point.

It can be the best starting point for the basis of negotiations with the LTTE. In fact, his grandfather Saumiyamurthy Thondaman had advocated an interim administration to the LTTE for five years.

The question of Ministry portfolios to the CWC was not something the CWC had insisted upon but would be accepted in the interests of the plantation community if deemed necessary, he said.

He said the CWC would vote with President Kumaratunga's alliance at the November 10 National budget and other electoral reforms which it had been unable to push through earlier. .

There were certain issues with regard to the welfare of the plantation community which the CWC would discuss with the UPFA leadership in due course, the CWC leader said. Five CWC MPs were also present.

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