SLFP hails Ranil's Delhi visit outcome

Colombo Oct. 22. The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga's party displayed rare agreement with her arch rival, the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in welcoming the outcome of his visit to New Delhi.

Ms. Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) said it fully endorsed the joint statement issued in New Delhi yesterday at the end of Mr. Wickremesinghe's two-day visit.

The SLFP spokesman, Sarath Amunugama, said they were pleased that India had upheld Ms. Kumaratunga's stand that any interim solution to the island's ethnic conflict should be linked to a final settlement.

``We welcome the statement released at the end of the visit. India has in the statement linked any interim arrangement to a final resolution of the conflict.

``That has been the position of the President. The statement has clearly upheld the stand taken by the SLFP. This is a vindication of the position that was taken by our party.''

Mr. Amunugama also welcomed the two countries moving towards enhancing their economic and defence cooperation.

``We are for regional cooperation and non-alignment.''

Another SLFP lawmaker and Kumaratunga confidant, Mangala Samaraweera, said they were also pleased with Mr. Wickremesinghe's talks with the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. — PTI

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