TNA Says Talks Still Deadlocked
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says moves aimed at reaching a political solution to the ethnic issue in the country remains deadlocked.
TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that party leader R. Sampanthan and the leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe had met last week in an attempt to look for a way forward.
Following the end of the war three years ago the government and the TNA began talks aimed at reaching a political solution.
However the talks were suspended late last year after the government insisted that the TNA join the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) involving all the political parties to reach a political solution.
The TNA refused to be part of the PSC until an agreement is reached at direct talks between the government and the TNA.
“Mr. Sampanthan met Mr. Wickrememesinghe and discussed several issues regarding the PSC. But there is still no decision or progress. Our position remains that we will join the PSC only once an agreement is reached in bilateral talks with the government. However the government does not seem keen to resume bilateral talks,” Sumanthiran said.
Sumanthiran also said that there was an attempt made by the UNP leader to push the government to have bilateral talks with the TNA while also going ahead with the PSC but the government had failed to respond positively to the request.
Amidst pressure from its allies the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has refused to have talks only with the TNA on the basis that they are not the sole representatives of the Tamils.
However the UNP has refused to take part in the PSC until the government reaches an agreement with the TNA to join the process.