First talks then PSC says TNA

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has refused to take part in a parliamentary process to formulate a political solution until direct talks are held with the government.

The TNA has been boycotting the Parliament select Committee (PSC) on a political solution resulting in the PSC failing to get off the ground.

TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that his party has decided it will continue to demand for direct talks with the government and will not name a representative to the PSC.

“We are not boycotting the PSC but we feel that first there should be bilateral talks with the government and once that is done then whatever solution we reach at the direct talks can be put forward to the PSC,” Premachandran said.

Direct talks between the government and the TNA have been at a deadlock since January after the government insisted that the TNA must name a representative to the PSC.

Premachandran said that his party members had met on Thursday evening to discuss the current developments in the country and it was agreed at that meeting that the TNA will continue to push for direct talks with the government.

“The PSC has some hard-line Sinhalese political parties so the core issues faced by the Tamils will not be addressed properly there. That’s why we are saying first let there be direct talks between us and the government and then the PSC can be the next step,” Premachandran said.

The government initiated talks with the TNA after the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were fighting for a separate Tamil state, were defeated by the military three years ago.

However the talks had its ups and downs as both sides began to place conditions and demands and the negotiations finally came to a standstill in January this year.

The international community including Sri Lanka’s biggest neighbor India, have been asking the government and the TNA to resume negotiations on a political solution.  (Colombo Gazette)