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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Tamils to blame for Lanka solution delay: Rajapaksa

Brushing aside the criticism that he is nowhere near delivering a political solution even 30 months after ending the Eelam war, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed Tamils, within the country and outside, for the delay by refusing to participate in the consultative process authored by him.

“The parliamentary select committee [PSC] is a good approach to what has been a vexed problem. Its members are legislators and their proposals could find wider acceptance,” he said in an interview at his Temple Tree residence in Colombo.

“It is important that TNA [Tamil National Alliance] participates in PSC with an honest intention of finding a political solution, but they are not nominating members. Sampanthan [TNA leader] seems scared of somebody. Now they are going to America complaining we are not doing this or that,” Mr Rajapaksa said.

He said TNA was steered by the LTTE in the Prabhakaran era and now by the Diaspora, which mostly comprised second- and third-generation Tamils.

They were worried that if a political solution emerged in Sri Lanka, their host countries would send them back home, he said, adding, “There is no point blaming me, it’s the Tamil parties that are delaying solution.”

Asked if he was not leaning a bit too much toward China for India’s comfort, Mr Rajapaksa said all the mega infrastructure projects, such as Hambantota Port and Colombo Port extension, were first offered to India but Delhi did not respond.

Promising action on the report of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recently presented to Parliament, he said LLRC had concluded that the security forces did not deliberately target civilians in the final phase of the war.


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