Key talks between Lanka govt and TNA for pol reconciliation
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 17:48
Colombo: The government has kick-started a crucial round of talks with Tamil National Alliance, the main Tamil party in the country, in a bid to find a political settlement to the grievances of the minority ethnic community.

Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has initiated a discussion towards reconciliation through political settlement, a statement said.

Representatives from the government and the TNA met yesterday in the capital sequel to a meeting between the TNA and President Mahinda Rajapksha in June last year.

The government delegation was headed by the former prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka and two other cabinet ministers while the TNA was represented by three parliamentarians.

"Participants agreed to continue the dialogue with a sense of commitment to identify the issues and to work towards solutions in a methodical way," a TNA lawmaker who participated at the discussions said.

"Through the discussion the government and the TNA also aim to address the urgent humanitarian and reconstruction concerns as well," he said.

The LTTE waged a bloody three-decade civil war for a separate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, alleging discrimination against the minority community at the hands of the majority Sinhalas.

The Lankan military crushed the rebels in May 2009 and ended the ethnic conflict that killed between 80,000 and 100,000 people.

India has asked the Lankan leadership to engage the Tamil community to find a political solution to the grievances of the minority ethnic group.

India has also pressed Sri Lanka to step up measures to rehabilitate the nearly three lakh Tamil civilians displaced from the conflict-ridden areas during the civil war.

Indian government had made a commitment to construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for rehabilitation of the IDPs in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka.


First Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 17:48

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