Text of a press release issued by Mr.Sajin Vass Gunewardane MP& Secretary of the Committee after suspension of talks with Govt by the TNA
At the meeting which the government delegation had with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) on Thursday 4th August 2011 the TNA announced that they would not agree to set a date for the next round of talks and that their willingness to continue participation in the discussions would be conditional.
The condition they insisted on is that, within a period of 10 days, the government delegation should inform the TNA in writing about its position on the following matters:
(i) The structure of governance;
(ii) The allocation of subjects and functions to the Central Government and to the Provincial Councils;
(iii) Issues relating to fiscal and financial devolution
It will be observed that these three areas, taken in combination, encompass almost the entirety of the issues involved in the discussion between the SLFP, main political party of the Government and the TNA. It is certainly not possible, nor is it consistent with the national interest to make a final pronouncement on all these crucial issues, hastily and without wider consultation, at this stage.
Between meetings the Government has made every effort to discuss these complex issues, vital to the future of our nation, with all stakeholders in order to arrive at a consensus and in this way to build a foundation for a fair and durable solution.
We do not think that the ultimatum delivered to the government by the TNA, which tantamount to the attitude portrayed by the LTTE, is at all helpful or constructive for the purpose of carrying forward in a structured and methodical way a process which can reach a positive outcome only if it has the widest possible support among the public. It is this objective which the government has tried to achieve in its sustained discussions with varying shades of political opinion during the last few months.
As much as the SLFP does not solely represent any community in particular, the TNA also does not solely represent the Tamil community. In the circumstances, which have now arisen on account of the demarche of the TNA, the Government will proceed with the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee. This is the appropriate forum for a discussion in which all the representatives of the people can participate with a view to identifying the constitutional reforms that are needed as the country emerges from the anguish of terrorism and faces with courage the challenges of accelerated economic and social development. The Government hopes that all political parties, including the TNA will avail themselves of this opportunity.
Sajin Vass Gunewardane MP
Secretary of the Committee