Tamil party agrees to resume talks with Sri Lanka government
Posted on Aug 29 2014 | IANS
Colombo, Aug 29 : Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has announced it is willing to restart talks with the government after a lapse of nearly three years to find a political solution to a dragging ethnic issue after a three-decade civil war ended in 2009, an official said here Friday.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it was ready to resume discussions with the government to reach a lasting solution to the ethnic crisis based on power devolution within a united Sri Lanka, Xinhua reported.
TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told reporters the party did not have a hidden agenda and it was strongly committed to finding a solution to the political question.
"We have no intention of dividing Sri Lanka. We strongly believe a solution to the issue in a united country and we do not want a separate state," Sumanthiran said.
He said the allegation leveled by the government against them that they were cronies of the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was incorrect.
The Sri Lankan government militarily defeated the LTTE in 2009 ending their quest for a separate homeland. However, subsequent attempts to find a political solution have been stalled from both sides.
The TNA this week visited India and held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
During the meeting, Modi stressed on the need for a political solution that addressed the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self-respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.
The prime minister urged all stakeholders in Sri Lanka to engage constructively towards finding a political solution that built upon the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution that allowed for power devolution to the provinces.
Talks between the government and the TNA got stalled in January 2012 when the party refused to join a government-backed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to find a lasting solution to the national issue.