Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Joint administrative mechanism no threat to national security

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President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday [10th June] assured the country's supreme Buddhist Leadership that the proposed Post-Tsunami Operations Management Structure (P-TOMS) does not threaten Sri Lanka's national security or territorial integrity as perceived by some.

The Chief Prelates of the Malwatte, Amarapura and Ramannya chapters called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday. The Mahanayake of the Asgirya chapter informed the President of his inability to be present and is scheduled to meet her today Saturday 11th June.

The President explained to the three prelates in detail the proposed Tsunami Relief Council for the North and East and its current status. She told them no date has been fixed yet for the establishment of the Council , and implored of them not to be mislead by media speculation and misinformation about it, created for narrow political gains.

The President said certain propagandists with vested interests have begun a campaign designed to deceive and provoke the uninitiated.Responding to questions by the Maha Sangha, President Kumaratunga said she was completely devoted to preserving the rights of all citizens belonging to every ethnic and religious denomination. She emphasized the Sinhala and Muslim communities who live the North and East have no cause whatsoever to fear.

The President assured the Chief Prelates there would be more discussions with them on the subject of the Tsunami Relief Council, and said she has at all times consulted the Maha Nayake Theras on all important national issues.

The Chief Prelates told the President they would convey her empathetic request to Parliamentarian monk the Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha to abandon his fast. The Chief Prelate of the Ramannya Nikaya said he would meet Ven. Sobhitha Thera and brief him on the outcome of yesterday's discussion. It is reported the Ven. Sobhitha Thero ended his fast this morning.

Associated with the President at yesterday's discussions were Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Central Province Governor Monty Gopallawa, Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and President's Secretary W. J. S. Karunaratne.