This Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party represents the inauguration of a new political environment eagerly awaited by the public of this country, which replaces the hitherto existing politics of confrontation with the politics of active cooperation on national issues, in the interests of the nation.
On the 12th of October 2006, H E President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is the Head of the Government and the Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and the Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and the Leader of the United National Party, after careful and sustained deliberation have agreed to collaborate in addressing the national issues in regard to peace, good governance and development.
The Parties, recognise that the fundamental challenge that stands in the way of the realisation of the goals of peace, good governance and development is that of a just political solution acceptable to all communities.
In pursuance of the objectives referred to above, we, Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Malik Samarawickrama, Chairman of the United National Party, hereby declare our agreement to cooperate as set out below:
1. The plenary meeting of the Delegations of the two Parties discussed the following Papers submitted by the sub-committees for presentation to the two Leaders:
i. Conflict in the North & East
ii. Electoral Reforms
iii. Good Governance
iv. Social Development
v. Proposed structure for collaboration
2. The two Parties will cooperate with each other in the areas enumerated in Clause 1(i) to (iv) above. The issues referred to in Clause 1 (v) above, including the modalities for collaboration, will be implemented at an early date after further direct discussion between the two Leaders and acceptance by the appropriate bodies of each of the two Parties.
3. The United National Party in Parliament will support the Government to implement the policies and programmes in the areas enumerated in Clause 1(i) to (iv) above.
4. The United National Party reiterates its commitment to extend support to the Government in the pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the ongoing conflict while opposing terrorism in all its manifestations, and upholding human rights.
5. The United National Party in Parliament shall extend its support to the Government to achieve a negotiated settlement to the ongoing conflict.
6. The Leader of the United National Party will nominate two Members to the Representative Committee of the All Party Conference.
7. Both Parties agree to expedite the resolution of the present impediments to the effective operation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and to finalise the passage into law of the amendments under consideration to the 17th Amendment.
8. Both Parties will observe the accepted political and democratic norms applicable to governing good relations.
9. The time frame during which this Agreement will remain operative will be two (02) years from the date of signing hereof.
10. Both Parties agree to the establishment of a High-Level Committee headed by the H. E. the President and the Leader of the Opposition (including an equal number of representatives of each of the two Parties) to oversee the implementation of the above agreements arrived at between the two Parties and to cooperate with each other in regard to the resolution of any disagreement which may arise in the course of implementation of this Agreement and the policies and programmes set out in Clauses 1 to 8 above, and the fulfilment of the agreed national agenda, so as to achieve just and durable peace, good governance and sustainable development in Sri Lanka".