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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Talks with TNA the only solution

Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Saundaranayagam has informed a visiting British delegation that a political solution to the ethnic problem could be found only through dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance(TNA).  The Bishop made this observation when the delegation led by British Member of Parliament James Wharton met the Bishop at his residence in Jaffna on Thursday (5).

British Ambassador in Sri Lanka John Rankin, External Affairs Ministry Senior Counsellor at the Sri Lankan Mission to the UN Maxwell Keegal and Jaffna Government Agent (GA) Imelda Sukumar also accompanied the visiting British MP during the meeting with the Bishop.

The Bishop had also told the delegation that for Sri Lanka to achieve a lasting peace a political solution based on the aspirations of the Tamil people of the North and East must be found.

He had said the government must seriously consider devolving Land and Police powers to the provinces and also consider merging the Northern and Eastern provinces.

He had noted the Tamils will not be satisfied with the current development programmes initiated by the government until they were given their liberty to live in peace in their own soil.

While commending the development work launched by the present government in the North, the Bishop said though development is essential the local residents were still yearning for true peace and freedom.

He also told the delegation the government should take stock of the High Security Zones (HSZ’s) and resettle the residents in their homes that are situated within the HSZ’s.

He also placed emphasis on the unemployed youth and those still without homes.

“The government is trying to do something to the people but it is inadequate. Development is necessary but what the people look forward to is something different,” the Bishop told the delegation.

Following the meeting with the Bishop, the delegation also visited the Jaffna hospital and the main bus stand and spoke to those present.

The visiting British MP had also requested the GA to purchase the Tamil language newspapers and to explain to him the significant points in the news items.

The visiting MP had told the GA that after having gathered the necessary data from the public he would prepare a report on his findings and hand it over to the British government for consideration



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