President says no promise given to India

President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that he had not given any promise to India on implementing a political solution which will see land and police powers being given to the provinces in Sri Lanka.

At a meeting with local media heads in Colombo on Monday, the President said that he will meet with political party representatives in Sri Lanka soon to discuss a political solution after talks with a key minority Tamil political party aimed at formulating a solution failed to see any progress.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna, who visited Sri Lanka recently, had told reporters that President Rajapaksa had assured the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the constitution.

However Rajapaksa told local media heads in Colombo on Monday that no promise was given and that instead he only gave an assurance to look at proposals to implement a solution and also ruled out land and police powers to the provinces.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been having talks with the Sri Lankan government for over a year on a political solution and was pushing for land and police powers to be given to the provincial administration.

However talks between the TNA and the Sri Lankan government broke down this month after the TNA rejected a demand by the government for the TNA to be part of a committee involving all political parties in parliament to discuss a political solution.

The President said that with a parliament committee also unable to meet to discuss the political solution as a result of the TNA boycott, he will now convene a meeting with all other political parties in parliament to discuss the solution.

The Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after 30 years of war and since then has been urged by the international community to look at the root causes of the war and reach a political solution for the Tamils.


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