Tamil leaders ‘must come and negotiate with me’ after parliamentary elections
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is confident that the United People’s Freedom Alliance, led by his Sri Lanka Freedom Party, will win the forthcoming parliamentary elections “very comfortably.” Asked whether his realistic target was a two-thirds majority, he responded: “I think we will be able to get that, or at least close to that.”
Was he willing to enter into constructive cohabitation with the leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, in the event of the United National Party doing well? “Oh, no problem but he won’t do that! So the situation won’t arise.”
In an interview to The Hindu at Temple Trees in Colombo, the Sri Lankan President responded candidly to questions ranging from the contours of the political solution to the Tamil question he had in mind to the factors behind his 18 percentage point win in the January 26 presidential election, the subsequent arrest of retired general Sarath Fonseka, and India-Sri Lanka relations.
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Published: Fri Feb 19 14:00:53 EST 2010