Sri Lanka opposition says peace deal in two years

PALALY, (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s opposition leader visited the main military garrison in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna Thursday and vowed peace within “two to three years” if he was elected president this month. PALALY, (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s opposition leader visited the main military garrison in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna Thursday and vowed peace within “two to three years” if he was elected president this month. Opposition candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe made a rare visit to this sprawling military complex at the northern tip of the arid peninsula to address troops who are observing a shaky truce with Tamil rebels.

“We cannot have peace in a day or two,” Wickremesinghe told the security forces. “A permanent peace will take two to three years. Yes, I can promise you peace. The ceasefire was the first step.

“In the meantime we need to strengthen the security forces. We need to modernise the armed forces to meet the new challenges. We must keep up with the developing technology.”

He said he expected to raise at least one division, or 10,000 troops, for United Nations peace keeping duties following a peace deal with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The United States had sho