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.

PTI



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

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