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Last updated: 05 March, 2008 - Published 17:14 GMT
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'Armed groups run by state' Ranil
UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe
UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence is controlling a number of armed groups in the east says the leader of the opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe .

Opposition leader Wickremasinghe told this at a media briefing on Wednesday summoned to outline a proposed National Consultation by the Jathika Sabha which comprises of the United National Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (M).

Wickremasinghe further said that Tamil Tigers are still in the east while break away Pilliayan group, EPDP, and a Muslim group mobilised by the government are in operation.

UNP is not contesting local polls in the Batticaloa District in such a situation where there is no independent police commission or an independent election commission, he said.

Allegations rejected

The government rejected the allegations by the opposition leader saying that the police have only received 29 incidence of violence.

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told BBC Sandeshaya that no others than government forces carried weapons in the East.

Leader of the opposition Wickremasinghe further said in order to change unacceptable state of affairs, the Jathika Sabha is launching a campaign to create awareness among public and build up a national consensus.

"The idea is to formulate a national policy", Wicremasinghe said.

Failed State

He further said that Sri Lanka has become a 'failed state' with increasingly difficult economy, human rights violations and threat to media.

"Therefore, there is a need for a national policy", he said.

Opposition leader further said as the national policy will be formulated with the participation of mass organizations; and it is open for any political party to make use of it.

SLFP(M) Leader Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (M) who was associated with the opposition leader at the media conference said that the UNP and the SLFP should join hands to marginalise "extremist political parties".

Emphasising on the need for a broad coalition between the UNP and SLFP for a better future Sri Lanka, Samarasweera said the national policy is a foundation for that.

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