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Tamils, Muslims revive talks in Sri Lanka

[Hindu, Saturday, 17 December 2011 12:04 No Comment]

Tamil National Alliance and a Muslim party have revived dialogue to reach consensus on key concerns of the Muslims in the north and east, even as the main Tamil party strives to hammer out a political solution towards autonomy with the Sri Lankan government.

The main Tamil minority party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the main Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have revived their stalled talks.

A senior SLMC official told PTI their leader Rauff Hakeem and the TNA leader R Sampanthan had met in parliament on Thursday.

“Both sides have realised the importance of continuation of dialogue”, the official said.

Mr. Sampanthan apprised the SLMC leader on the progress of their talks with the government. The TNA leader told Hakeem of TNA’s points of contention at talks, that is, land and police powers and the re-merger of the north and east provinces.

The TNA leader had said that Muslim concerns must necessarily be given thought in formulating a solution based on Tamil call for a political solution.

Mr. Hekeem said that he recognised the need to move forward the talks with TNA on a structured basis. He had named two SLMC representatives for the purpose.

The TNA and the government have met 17 times for talks to arrive at a political solution to end impasse over political autonomy to Tamil minority.

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