Sri Lanka gov't-opposition talks focus on culture cooperation

15:19, July 25, 2010      

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The Sri Lankan government's talks with the main opposition was aimed at creating a new culture of cooperation in the island, a senior government minister said here Saturday.

"We are capable of doing it on our own (change of constitution). But we decided to talk to opposition to create this new culture of cooperation," Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, the minister of Administrative Reforms told a public gathering at his constituency of Horana near the capital.

Wickramanayake said the government has the numbers required to effect changes.

"We have people to come from their side (opposition) to support us," Wickramanayake stressed.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa early this month held talks with the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The two leaders had agreed to converting the island's executive presidential form of government to an executive Prime Minister headed government.

The opposition claimed that Rajapaksa's inability to get support from his own group towards a constitutional change that would have allowed him to become the president a third time was the reason that he had started talks with the opposition for an alternative arrangement.

Rajapaksa has 144 seats in the 225-member assembly, just six seats short of the 150 seats or two-thirds majority required to change constitution.

However, the leftist allies of the government are opposed to the move to give Rajapaksa a third term. This has caused some doubts about securing the 150 seats required for two-thirds passage.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王千原雪)

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