Rajapaksa meets representatives of Tamil parties

Rajapaksa met Tamil politicians and discussed post-conflict reconciliation.

Colombo: Amid India`s call for a political settlement to the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has met representatives of the minority community`s political parties, barring pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance, to discuss aspects of post-conflict reconciliation.

Rajapaksa met representatives of Tamil Political Parties` Forum comprising most of the Tamil political parties of the country to "discuss aspects of post-conflict reconciliation," the President`s office said in a statement on Friday night.

The meeting was significant as those present comprised Tamil politicians "who had strongly opposite views in dealing with the problems of the LTTE and a solution to the ethnic conflict," the statement said.

The meeting followed Rajapaksa`s talks with visiting External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Friday.

"The cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka last year provides a historic opportunity to address all outstanding issues related to rehabilitation as well as a political settlement in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation," Krishna told the media on Friday after meeting the President.

Rajapaksa, in his talks with the Tamil political parties, assured them that the government would continue with its policy of humane resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and take into consideration the matter of providing adequate compensation by way of services, the President`s office said.

With regard to the detainees, the President said all those against whom there was no evidence of offences and those involving in minor offences would be released."
It was also decided to appoint a committee comprising members of Tamil political parties to review the situation regarding the IDPs.

However, the main Tamil political party the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was not present during Friday`s meeting.

Local newspapers` reports said the government was likely to have a meeting with the pro-LTTE TNA within the next couple of weeks.


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