Sri Lanka president and PM at loggerheads over peace moves

Sri Lanka’s outgoing president will press ahead with plans to share power with minority Tamils in exchange for peace even though her prime minister has promised to ditch the plan if he succeeds her, an official said. Sri Lanka’s outgoing president will press ahead with plans to share power with minority Tamils in exchange for peace even though her prime minister has promised to ditch the plan if he succeeds her, an official said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga disagreed with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, the ruling party candidate for the presidency, about his decision to give pre-poll pledges to two hardline Sinhalese nationalist parties to scrap plans for a federal state, a top official in her office told AFP on Wednesday.

“The president is not willing to throw away 11 years of work in a mere election promise,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

“She is committed to devolution of power and does not want the party to stop supporting it.”

The state-run Daily News Wednesday quoted the president as saying that the government must work towards making the current ceasefire a permanent one. By contrast, the premier has pledged to redraft the truce.

She said her party was committed to “dev