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TNA asks India to play ‘important role’ in resolving conflict

[Hindu, Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:53 No Comment]

A pro-LTTE Tamil party on Thursday met Prime Minister’s Special Envoys M K Narayanan and Shivshankar Menon asking India to play an "important role" in resolving the ethnic strife through an "acceptable" political solution to the Tamil question.

A delegation from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which has 22 MPs in the Sri Lankan Parliament, met the National Security Adviser and the Foreign Secretary and conveyed their viewpoints about India’s role in the reconstruction of the northern war zone and rehabilitation of the displaced civilians.

"We told the Indian envoys that it should play an important role in the rehabilitation and reconstruction activitities. We also appealed to them to help in resolving the ethnic conflict," TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told PTI.

R Sampanthan, Parliamentary Party leader of TNA, said they feel that India will have a role in the negotiating process in some or the other way. "That is really encouraging."

Mr. Premachandran said the crisis should be resolved through a political solution which is "durable and acceptable" to the Tamils.

"Our main demand to India is that it should tell Sri Lanka to remove all the military tents, camps and other infrastructure in six months so that people can resume life in their areas," he said, adding that "the Tamils should be given equal rights like other communities."

The TNA MPs also told India that the Sri Lankan Government should set up a monitoring committee to oversee how the administration spends the funds alloted to it by India for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

"We don’t trust the Sri Lankan Government. We asked for a monitoring committee which oversee the activities.

There should be a representation for TNA also in the panel," Mr. Premachandran said.

He said Sri Lanka should accelerate the resettlement process immeidatly and freedom should be given for the Tamil people to live in their own areas.

"Normal life should resume. It will help people to forget past wounds," Premachandran, who was part of the delegation, said.

The TNA MP said people currently lodged in camps in the country should be treated properly and rehabilitated as soon as possible.

This is the third time Indian Government is holding talks with the TNA, which is considered close to the LTTE, to get its views on the conflict.

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