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Sri Lankan Tamil party says talks with gov’t on hold

[Xinhua, Sunday, 2 October 2011 23:14 No Comment]

A minority Tamil party in Sri Lanka said Monday that key negotiations with the Sri Lankan government has been suspended again with no new date set.

The Tamil National Alliance was set to resume discussions on Monday with the Sri Lankan government to reach a political solution for the Tamils in the island but the talks have now been put on hold.

Tamil legislator Suresh Premachandran told Xinhua that the Sri Lankan government had informed the Tamil party that the talks will be on hold as the ruling party was involved in preparations for local council elections scheduled to be held next weekend.

However, he said the Sri Lankan government had failed to mention a new date for the talks to resume and as a result doubts were being cast of future negotiations.

The last meeting between the two sides was in the middle of last month when the Sri Lankan government had agreed to formulate a political solution to the ethnic issue very soon.

An agreement was also reached to look beyond the 13th Amendment to the constitution. Under an Indo-Sri Lankan Accord in July 1987 the then Sri Lankan government agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces by introducing the 13th Amendment.

However, the 13th Amendment had never been fully implemented and this has been a sticky point at consecutive elections in Sri Lanka with Tamils demanding more authority for their areas.

The Tamil National Alliance and the Sri Lankan government met last month after several rounds of talks came to a standstill in August following disagreement between both sides.

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