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TNA to discuss party concerns with India

Kelum Bandara
Amid charges that the government is not genuinely interested in evolving a political solution to the Tamil question, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it would discuss its political concerns with India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai tomorrow.
Mr. Mathai will arrive in the country today, and visit the North tomorrow to monitor Indian-funded projects including the construction of the Kankesanthurai Harbour and the northern railway line.  TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said his party had taken up various issues with India during the past few years.

“Again, we will raise our usual political concerns with India’s Foreign Secretary,” he said and added that the government had started the second phase of talks with the TNA, but not much progress had been made.

“It appears that the government is more interested in the local council elections rather than talking to us. We have to wait and see. They postponed the meeting that was scheduled for October 3, 2011. No fresh dates have been fixed for the next round of talks,” he said.

When asked about the parliamentary select committee which is being set up to evolve a political solution, he said any power sharing arrangement agreed between the government and the TNA should be endorsed by the select committee.

“First the agreement should be reached between the government and the TNA. Then, it has to be sent to the parliamentary select committee for approval if needed. Otherwise, there is no use of this select committee,” he said.
When asked what would happen if other parties in the ruling coalition rejects such an agreement, Mr. Premachandran said, “If the government endorses, nobody will go against it.”



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