Tamil party threatens to withdraw from talks with Sri Lankan government

Aug 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s major Tamil party, Tami National Alliance (TNA) has threatened to withdraw from the talks with the government on power devolution if the government fails to step up the pace for a meaningful resolution.

Following the 10th round of talks held today between the two groups, the TNA in a statement has said that it had brought forward three conditions at reconciliation aimed for a meaningful devolution of power to the north and east regions.

The TNA has already handed over its proposals and was awaiting the written proposals of the government.

The TNA expects a quick response to their three immediate proposals on the structure of governance for north and east regions, allocation of subjects and functions to the provincial councils and the issues relating to fiscal and financial devolution.

The party has expressed its frustration at the slow pace of the government in making any headway in the discussions.

It has given government 10 days to respond to their proposals and threatened to withdraw if the government fails to respond positively.

The warning is seen as a hardening stance of the party, once considered as a proxy party of the terrorist group LTTE, following its victory in the Tamil dominated areas at the local government elections held last month.

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva and Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L. Peiris were scheduled to be present for the discussions with the TNA delegation while the two other parliamentarians Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe and Sajin Vaas Gunawardena are reportedly in foreign tours.

The TNA delegation, led by Leader MP R. Sampanthan, comprises senior Parliamentarians Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran and M.A. Sumanthiran.

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