TNA seeks third-party presence at talks with SL govt

TNA seeks third-party presence at talks with SL govt

Written by Staff Writer

12 Sep, 2014 | 9:06 am

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought an international observer’s presence at talks with the Sri Lankan government.

Responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview to The Hindu published yesterday — in which he said his government was open for talks with the TNA — leader of the Alliance R. Sampanthan said they were prepared to talk at anytime, but with the one caveat, that an international observer be present so as “to ensure that the commitments he (the president) gives are known to everyone.”

Sampanthan added that The TNA welcomed the President’s statement to The Hindu that he was committed to working with them to implement the 13th amendment. However, on the Sri Lankan government’s reluctance to share police powers — as envisaged in the 13th Amendment that followed the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 — the TNA leader said they were not seeking defence powers but merely police powers for law and order, part of power sharing agreements anywhere.

Sampanthan said this was “also the commitment given by him to India and the UN to ensure meaningful devolution.”

The Hindu also reports Tamil National People’s Front member Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam as saying that while he concurred with the TNA’s request for an international observer, he reiterated his party’s position that negotiations should be on the basis of recognition that the Tamils have the right to self determination.


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