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Sri Lanka president meets Tamil political leaders

[AP, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 07:54 No Comment]

Sri Lanka’s president met ethnic Tamil leaders on Monday and promised a political solution to a protracted ethnic conflict for the first time since his forces ended the country’s 25-year civil war last year.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Rajavarothayam Sambanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance, and asked them to trust him to deliver a solution, the president’s office said in a statement.

This is the first time the two sides have met to discuss a political solution since government troops defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels last year.

The meeting also was significant because it took place ahead of Rajapaksa’s visit to India amid repeated calls by the giant neighbor to solve the problem by devolving power to the Tamil majority provinces.

Rajapaksa is scheduled to start a four-day visit to India on Tuesday where the issue of a political solution is likely to be raised. Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is a sensitive issue to India with 60 million Tamils living in its southern Tamil Nadu state.

[Full Coverage]

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