Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has held talks with TNA on holding free and fair elections in the country’s north, days after the main Tamil party skipped a key parliamentary panel meet on devolving power to provinces.
The Tamil National Alliance’s leader Rajavarothy Samapanthan met with Rajapaksa yesterday and discussed holding free and fair elections in the region, a statement from the TNA said.
“The President expressed his desire to solve all outstanding issues relating to the National question,” it said.
The TNA leader also reiterated the party’s commitment to evolution of an acceptable, workable and durable political solution within the framework of a united undivided country, the statement added.
The meeting came on a day the Commissioner of Elections commenced the process of accepting nomination papers for the much awaited elections in the former Tamil Tigers-held areas after a gap of 25 years.
The first ever election for the northern provincial council is being seen by the international community as a major reconciliation move with the island’s Tamil minority since the end of a brutal three-decade-long civil war in 2009 when government troops finally crushed LTTE rebels fighting for a separate Tamil homeland.
Other matters related to resettling people on the land earlier occupied by them, minimising the military presence and release of political prisoners also came up during the talks.
The nominations for the September elections will close on August 1.
The TNA-Rajapaksa talks came as the former joined opposition parties in skipping the parliamentary select committee which met earlier in the week to review the powers devolved to the provinces especially on matters related to land and police matters.