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Sri Lankan minister quits panel on Tamils

[Express Buzz, Monday, 2 May 2011 09:53 One Comment]

Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, a senior minister in the Rajapaksa government and a former Prime Minister, has quit the government delegation now in talks with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on finding a political solution to the Tamil question.

In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week, Wickramanayake said he could not continue to talk to the TNA after it had endorsed the report of the UN panel on war crimes in Sri Lanka, a report totally rejected by the Rajapaksa government for being biased in favour of the LTTE.

The government, which wants to continue to talk to the TNA (if only to avoid the criticism that it is not serious about addressing the political demands of the Tamils) immediately appointed Dr Rajiva Wijesinha in place of Wickramanayake.

Wijesinha is a former secretary general of the government peace secretariat, and was secretary to the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Human Rights.  

Talks to continue

Wickrama­nayake’s exit in a huff and the trading of charges on the UN report are unlikely to bring the talks to a grinding halt, a TNA spokesman said.

He noted that government had filled Wickramanayake’s place promptly.

“The TNA too will not quit the talks, though it feels that they are not getting anywhere,” said Suresh Premachandran, TNA MP for Jaffna district.

On the talks, he said the government was making promises only to break them. Giving examples, Premachandran said: The LLRC had recommended that the list of those Tamils in detention should be made accessible to their kith and kin. But  this had not happened.

China supports Lanka

China has asked the international community to let the Sri Lankan government and its people to handle the issues raised by the United Nation panel’s report on alleged war crimes in the island nation.  

“China believes the Sri Lankan government and people will properly handle problems concerning its civil war and urge the international community not to complicate the issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Hong Lei, said on Saturday.

Mobilising support

According to a top source in the Lankan government, Rajapaksa would be writing to world leaders to explain his government’s reasons for rejecting the United Nation panel’s report.

[Full Coverage]

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  • Cinematographer Chandran out of 'Agneepath' | FEED NEWS (author) said:

    [...] Sri Lankan apportion quits row on Tamils : Tamil News Network (TNN) [...]