His conflict with the president may have pushed Sri Lanka into early elections on April, 2, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he would rather talk peace with Tamil rebels than wage war with the head of state.
Wickremesinghe, 55, said in an interview with AFP that he had no intention of impeaching President Chandrika Kumaratunga despite her actions against his government since November.rn
rn He said the deep animosity between them should not overshadow the islands key problem — forging a deal with the Tamil Tigers to end three decades of ethnic conflict which has claimed more than 60,000 lives.rn
rn “Unlike her, I have not made this a personality conflict,” he said. “If I start battling the president and not confronting the problems faced by the country, people will not forgive us.”rn
rn The premier said there was mounting pressure from the international community, which pledged 4.5 billion dollars in aid to rebuild the island, to resume negotiations with the Tigers by May.rn<