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UPDATED: 08:23, May 18, 2005
Sri Lanka's ruling coalition partner slam president's speech
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The main partner in Sri Lanka's ruling coalition slammed Tuesday a speech made by the country's president at an international parley of donor community held in the central town of Kandy.

The JVP or the People's Liberation Front, the key partner in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government has taken exception to some of Kumaratunga's comments made during her inaugural address at the Sri Lanka Development Forum meeting at Kandy on Monday.

"We condemn the president's action to highlight details of internal conflict of ideas prevailing in the country in front of an official international gathering," the JVP said in a statement.

"Governments ...need the courage to face up to challenges -- from terrorists from the north and east and the extremists of the south," Kumaratunga told the donors in an obvious reference to the JVP's opposition to her entering a joint deal with the Tamil Tigers on post-tsunami relief effort.

The JVP said other leaders are not in the habit of highlighting internal differences in international fora and the party hopes that Sri Lankan leaders too would adhere to that tradition.

Notwithstanding Kumaratunga's dislike the JVP remains opposed to the joint mechanism with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the statement stresses.

Simmering differences between the JVP and Kumaratunga's Freedom Party has plagued the government's policy implementation and adversely affected efforts to revive the stalled peace negotiations with the Tamil Tigers.

Source: Xinhua

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