Sri Lanka's ruling alliance is expected to work out the finer details of an agreement with
the Marxist Janatha Vimukti Peramuna this evening to earn a further year in office and beat back an Opposition bid to topple it in a numbers game in Parliament.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake will hold what seems to be a wrap-up round of talks with JVP leaders after ruling People's Alliance parliamentarians approved last night a pact with the JVP under which the government will summon Parliament this Thursday and downsize its Cabinet.
In a sign of the pa's earnestness in living up to its promises to the JVP, the govenrment parliamentary group conceded two key opposition demands by convening the prorogued
Parliament on September 6, a day ahead of schedule, and cancel a referendum fixed for October 18 on whether the nation needs a new constitution.
State-run radio said the JVP took this as a positive response from the government and agreed to sit down for another round of discussions.
This round is presumably to finalise the terms on which it will allow the pa regime to run a probationary government for a year. The Marxist party has already made it clear it
will not join the government, but its 10 lawmakers will back it in Parliament, subject to its severe conditions.
The PA parliamentary group also called for the resignation of all 44 ministers to enable President Chandrika Kumaratunga to name a new cabinet of not more than 20 ministers -- a key demand of the JVP.