Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe keen to end ethnic conflict by year-end

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said he is keen on settling the ethnic conflict with the minority Tamil community by the end of this year as he emphasised that the cash-strapped country could only move forward with the IMF bailout if this long-pending issue is resolved.

Wickremesinghe, in his message to mark International Workers’ Day, said that he expects to reach an agreement by the end of this year to solve the country’s long-drawn ethnic conflict with the help of the government’s commitment to policies that benefit all communities in Sri Lanka.

“The country could only move forward with the IMF programme if two conditions are fulfilled. One is that we must resolve the ethnic conflict. We are continuing our talks on this.” “I hope to be able to come to some agreement by this year-end. We should not undermine any community. We must move forward protecting the Sinhala majority, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other minority groups. We must be dedicated to achieving that”, Wickremesinghe stressed.