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Tigers hindering progress: Rajapakse
Onkar Singh in Dehradun | November 26, 2006 15:40 IST
"In our country we are crafting an all-party approach to our national problem with great success. We have an All Party Conference, an All Party Representative Committee and finally a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the main opposition party to work towards a consensus on the solution to our ethnic problem, a solution that will sustain itself with all political groups including all the Tamil groups in the country.
"As you know we have several democratic Tamil parties representing the Tamil people, we also have one terrorist group called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," he said.
This is the century in which we, the Asian countries, will be industrialising fast and moving towards an era of plenty and prosperity. Many will complain that progress is slow. They do not realise the obvious -- that a festering wound cannot be healed in a day," he said.
"The reforms of India's Panchayati Raj in the past two decades particularly by those of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi have devolved powers more effectively to local communities.
"We in Sri Lanka are studying India's Panchayati Raj experience to take our lessons from it to evolve Sri Lanka's own model of Maximum Devolution within a Unitary State as a solution to the problems we are experiencing in our north and east," he said.
"This conference offers us the opportunity to interact amongst ourselves on issues that confront us individually in our own cities and to share the experiences that we have gained in resolving them within our own cultural settings," she said.
His comment evoked a smile from the visiting head of state.