Cooperate to set up National Govt - President

Dec 7 (IL) President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga called on all Sri Lankans to cooperate in establishing a national government.

"When I addressed the nation recently, I proposed a Government of Reconstruction and Reconciliation purely with the intention of consolidating solidarity among different communities.

"I would like to request all of you to cooperate in establishing a national government for the well-being of the country," the President told at a reception in connection with the Ramazan Festival at the President's House.

She appreciated the fasting observed during the month of Ramazan as it provides an opportunity of identifying the real issues of the people, enabling to help the needy.

She said: "During the foreign domination of 450 years, we Sinhala, Tamils and Muslims fought the invaders together and lived in solidarity for thousands of years in this beautiful island.

As such we have gained a shared value system as well. So it would not be difficult for us to build peace and brotherhood, among us.

After independence the political leaders at that time could not settle down to the task of national building 'but merely accepted the constitution framed by the British, based on the Westminster model instead, which caused communal tension among the minority communities.

Therefore the need of the hour is to build a nation wherein all communities could live in peace".

Western Province Governor Alhaj Alavi Mowlana and MPs M. L. A. M. Hisbullah, Segu Izadeen, Fairial Ashroff, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Maithripala Sirisena and D. M. Jayaratne, Muslim religious leaders, representatives of Muslim business community, University dons, professionals, lawyers and devotees were present.