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* Sri Lankan President agrees to discuss coalition party's proposals for reforms
Sat, May 24, 2014, 06:45 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 24, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has agreed to discuss the proposals for reforms submitted by a coalition party with the senior members of the main constituent party of the ruling alliance.

The leader of the government coalition party, National Freedom Front (NFF), Minister Wimal Weerawansa today handed over the party's 12-point proposals for reforms to the President at the Temple Trees.

The President discussed the proposals in length with the NFF delegation and assured the delegation that he will further review them with the seniors of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in near future.

National Freedom Front spokesman Mohamed Muzammil said the President told the delegation that he believes constructive reforms need to take place for the public depending on the present situation in the country.

The NFF adopted the 12 proposals at the party's second National Convention held earlier this month.

The NFF proposed the government to place a new draft constitution before the people ensuring the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, national reconciliation, good governance, and widening of the democratic rights of the people.

The party strongly condemning the US-sponsored UN resolution on Sri Lanka adopted this year suggested the government not to allow any "international agents" be sent to Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged war crimes.

The NFF also proposed that the law of the land should be strictly implemented irrespective of the position of political parties and the death penalty should be implemented for those who will be found guilt with drug related offences.

During the meeting, the NFF delegation has also pointed out the economic problems the public facing currently to the President, the spokesman said.

The NFF delegation was represented by the leader, Minister Wimal Weerawansa, member of politburo deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake, former minister Piyasiri Wijenayake, former MP Jayantha Samaraweera, Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council member Deepal Gunasekara and the spokesman Mohamed Muzammil.

Minister Susil Premajayantha ns Dullas Alahapperuma also participated in the discussions.

(Photo by Udesh Gunarathna)

The NFF's 12 point proposals:

1) Although Sri Lanka has been able to defeat LTTE terrorism, she has failed to take decisive and meaningful political and constitutional measures to defeat separatism and racism. Hence having been convinced properly of the emerging new Tamil Eelam operations at present; a new draft constitution has to be placed before the people ensuring the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, national reconciliation, good governance, widening of the democratic rights of the people. the new draft constitution after due dialogue with the people and incorporating the necessary changes in consequence to such dialogue, actions should be taken to transform into the supreme law of Sri Lanka and for this purpose it is proposed in this National Convention that the recommendations placed before the country by the Buddhist Renaissance Committee should also be taken into consideration.

2) We in this 2nd National Convention of the National Freedom Front strongly condemn "the 2014 American Resolution" passed against Sri Lanka's sovereignty and challenge its legality and morality as it was passed against international standards at the Geneva Human Rights Council. Also we propose in this National Convention that none of the international agents be sent to Sri Lanka to investigate the so called war crimes shall be allowed to enter our motherland.

3) This National Convention also proposes that no investigation or inquiry should be held due to undue international influence other than what has already been initiated in accordance with the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the national legal system. Also we strongly condemn the suggestion made by various political forces influencing the Government to hold such internal investigations.

4) This National Convention also proposes that no negotiations officially or unofficially should be held with any state or non state party based on amendments to the 13th Amendment or its fuller implementation that have been forced on to the Sinhalese , Tamils and Muslims and all citizens of Sri Lanka. Also it is proposed in the name of reconciliation and devolution of power no intervention of external state parties or other parties including South Africa shall be considered as a facilitator.

5) This National Convention also proposes that the law of the land should be strictly implemented irrespective of the position of political parties and leaders of nongovernmental organizations and all those parties who are engaged in spreading separatist ideology against the Constitution of Sri Lanka and engaged in clandestine military operations and those who deal with international organization against Sri Lanka.

6) This Convention further proposes to the Government to band forthwith all operation of foreign funded fundamentalist religious organizations which pose severe threat to the coexistence and peace among diverse ethnic communities and also to implement the law of the land against any form of organizations that operate against the existing religious coexistence and peace among the nation.

7) This National Convention further proposes that while ensuring the massive achievement in the infrastructure and urban development sector, substantial financial allocation should be made to establish an industrial system to produce marketable consumer products and for that purpose to introduce financial tools to obtain the contribution of private sector. As a first step towards achieving that objectives we propose to the Government that a national policy should be implemented forthwith in order to establish industries which produce milk powder, sugar and rice-flour and discouraging the importation of substitute food products for those food item, and in that process to give priority to the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

8) While this National Convention appreciates the measures taken so far to preserve and protect the national institutional system as per the directives laid down in the Mahinda Chinthanaya; further proposes that all secretive measures to turn Mahinda Chinthanaya towards "Regaining Sri Lanka" should be defeated and as a first step, the transferring of farmers' rights to seed to multi-national companies under the new Seed Act, weakening of local agro industry by offering tax concessions to rice importers, to multinational milk-powder importers and agro-chemical importing companies and thereby causing enormous irrevocable economic and bodily harm to farmers and to the environment should be halted forthwith; and adequate and tangible measures should be taken to suppress all economically suicidal acts committed by officials and politicians and by re-directing all financial concessions and funds currently being granted to multinational companies to farmer community by way of direct subsidies.

9) This National Convention further proposes that having paid due attention to the deteriorating condition of moral and cultural values, to establish a broad-based council consisting of Most Venerable Mahanayaka Theros and other religious dignitaries, media personnel's, educational and other state institutions; and to implement the recommendations to be made by such council and specifically to introduce legal reforms to stop spreading of large- scale gambling activities such as casino, online gambling alias electronic gambling and also not to offer any tax concessions to any investment which consists of large- scale gambling activities such as casino or any form of immoral activities.

10) This National Convention further proposes that the proposed Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of China to be finalized and signed immediately and to present before the country a new strategic plan to produce a new generation of entrepreneurs by giving tax concessions, counseling and monitoring and providing low interest loan facilities in order to capture the opportunities created in the Chinese market for Sri Lankan products.

11) It is proposed to strengthen the legal and administrative framework in order to ensure good governance and minimize frauds and corruptions and to ensure that the politicians and high ranking officials are directly accountable to the general public with transparency. In connection with this proposal, this National Convention further proposes to set up a secretariat to obtain public views on this matter and as the first step towards gaining public confidence to put in place a mechanism by which the general public will have unhindered access to declaration of assets and liabilities of politicians and high ranking state officials.

12) This National Convention further proposes to form an efficient joint mechanism with Police and State Defense Forces under the existing legal framework to eradicate drug menace and related large-scale criminal activities committed by underworld hooligans and to implement capital punishment given to those who will be found guilt with drug related offences.

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