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Sri Lanka Govt to Propose Transfer of Power

By Prensa Latina

Colombo : President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse assured he is set on submitting a proposal for the transfer of power next January 23 to solve more than two decades of tamil ethnic conflict.

He affirmed the objective is to present the initiative before Parliament and apply it after obtaining the necessary approval.

Rajapakse, quoted by Indian news agency PTI, said the recommendation of the Committee of All Representative Parties (APRC) on this issue will be included in a provisional report.

The Sri Lanka president made the statement on occasion of a meeting in his residence to commemorate the Pongal Festival.

Since its creation two years ago, the APRC has carried out 57 meetings on the transfer of power package before the creation of provincial councils in the conflicting regions in the north and east of this country.

The combats between soldiers and militants of the Tigers for the Liberation of Tamil Eejam (TLTE) intensified over the last weeks, in spite of the government s and rebels intention to comply with the cease fire agreed on February, 2002.

Colombo withdrew on January 16 from that fragile truce signed with Norway as a mediator.

The armed struggle exploded in July, 1983, when the TLTE started their fight to establish an independent state for the Tamil minority in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

It is estimated that over 75 thousand civilians, rebels and military have been killed in the almost 25 years of fighting.