Sri Lankan Tamil party, government resume talks seeking a political solution

Sept 17, Colombo: Stalled discussions between Sri Lankan government and the major Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to seek a political solution to the ethnic issue resumed when the representatives of the government and TNA met Friday, President’s Media Unit said.

A joint staatement issued under the signatures of Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and TNA parliamentarian R.Sambandan has said the talks commenced after MP Sambandan met the President on September 2nd.

At the meeting, the two sides have expressed hope that talks, based on the discussion paper admitted by the TNA on March 18 along with earlier proposals and reports for constitutional reforms, would continue without delay.

“It was agreed at this meeting that the talks could continue on the basis of the Discussion Paper submitted by the TNA on 18th March 2011 along with earlier proposals, statements and reports for Constitutional Reforms made public so as to agree on the principles that should form the basis of a political settlement to arrive at acceptable Constitutional arrangements soon,” the joint statement said.

The discussion between the government and the TNA stalled a few months back following a dispute on the government’s failure to hand its proposals to resolve the ethnic issue on writing.

At the end of the 10th round of talks held in early August, the Tamil party 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.

The government delegation comprised Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Prof. G.L. Peiris, parliamentarians Prof. Rajiv Wijesinghe, and Sajin Vaas Gunawardena.

The TNA is represented by MPs R. Sampanthan, the leader of TNA, Suresh Premachandran, Mavai Senathirajah, and M.A. Sumanthiran and Presidents Counsel K. Kanag-Isvaran,.

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