Sri Lankan Tamil party refuses to join talks

Colombo, Dec 26: Sri Lanka’s main minority Tamil political party has decided to continue boycotting a parliament process aimed at reaching a political solution after the end of a three-decade-old conflict, a Tamil legislator said Wednesday.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided that it will continue to boycott the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the national issue as it feels that process will not bear fruit, Xinhua quoted TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran as saying.

He made the remark at a meeting in northern town of Vavuniya. The meeting was organised to discuss among other things an open call made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for dialogue with the TNA.

The president had extended the invitation while speaking in parliament last week on the final day of the national budget debate.

Premachandran said the TNA is still not sure if the president is proposing bilateral talks or expects them to join the PSC.

However, Premachandran said that at the TNA meeting it was felt that the PSC will not be something which will bring results on the national issue.

The Sri Lanka army defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after nearly 30 years of war. The rebels demanded a separate Tamil state.

Following the end of the war, the government and the TNA had direct talks on a political solution aimed at addressing the root cause of the conflict.

However, the talks failed after the government formed the PSC and urged the TNA to be part of that process.

IANS