Sri Lankan govt, oppn trade charges over reconciliation

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 15:28

Colombo: A revived debate in Sri Lanka on devolution package for the Tamils appears to have run into rough weather with the main opposition party, the UNP, accusing the government of "dilatory tactics".

Charging President Mahinda Rajapaksa of changing stance on the 13th amendment, the UNP asked the government to come clean on its intended political solution.

"It is the government`s duty to tell the country their intended political solution. They make statements about the 13th amendment and then fall back on the parliamentary select committee proposal. All these are dilatory tactics," Tissa Attanayake, the United National Party (UNP) general secretary told reporters.
To which Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, the acting government spokesman responded by saying, "Who caused the delay?, it is the opposition. We have invited them to name their representatives to the select committee. They are not doing that."

The debate has been revived since the conclusion of a visit by the Indian parliamentary delegation led by the Lok Sabha opposition leader Sushma Swaraj.

The Indian parliamentary delegation had urged expeditious settlement of the political impasse with the Tamil minority.
Swaraj claimed that president Rajapaksa had once again pledged to grant "the thirteen plus"-- the full powers to provincial councils in terms of India initiated thirteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, as a solution.

Yet the government favoured media institution stories seemed to contend otherwise since the visit.

Attanayake said that talks with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) must resume and they be asked to enter the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) process, a point stressed by the Indian parliamentary delegation.

PTI




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