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Political parties express solidarity with Govt

COLOMBO: Political parties participating at the All Party Conference (APC) convened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to resolve the current critical situation in the country yesterday expressed their solidarity with the Government to take immediate action to defuse the tense situation.

United National Party Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said as a responsible opposition party they had participated at the APC to express their concerns over the current situation in the country.

"We are not ready to take undue political advantage using the current situation that had emerged in the country following the unfortunate incidents which have taken place in the past few weeks," he told APC participants.

He said the UNP was ready to discuss with the Government to decide on the steps towards handling the current situation.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa expressing his views to the media prior to the APC, said they wanted political parties to reach a wider consensus within them to overcome the current situation.

"We hope the parties would come together at the APC to face the challenges of terrorism," he added.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem said that his party would extend its support to the Government to deal with the country's current situation and expressed hope the APC would be a good forum to discuss the steps to be taken to face the situation.

Jathika Hela Urumaya leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera said the Government should have changed its policy towards the LTTE, when the outfit attempted on the Army Commander's life.

"We should have peace talks. But we should not allow people to be killed unnecessarily," the Thera added.

EPDP leader Minister Douglas Devananda said that as a political party which opposed the LTTE, they appeal to the Government to handle the situation through peaceful means.

"The problems of the LTTE and the Tamils are two different things. So the Government should take steps to settle the problems politically.

We are not going to suggest war as a solution to the problem," Devananda said.

Communist Party General Secretary Raja Collure said the APC would help reach a consensus among political parties to defuse the situation in the country.

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