Indian delegation briefed on reconciliation process
Colombo: The delegation of visiting Indian MPs was today briefed on the steps taken by Sri Lanka on reconciliation process in the country, stressing that the government did not want to "force" a solution on people. A senior minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva, said a useful opportunity was provided to the Indian delegates to seek clarifications on areas of doubt about the reconciliation process to address grievances of the Tamil community.
Stressing that the government did not want to "force" a solution on people, de Silva asked Lanka`s main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to attend the Parliamentary Select Committee process to resolve the decades-old Tamil question. The two sides are at loggerheads over handing over of police and land powers to provinces. The Sri Lankan Government wants a Select Parliamentary Committee to go into the issue, but the TNA is dead opposed to the proposed move.
"We told them (Indian delegation) that TNA is not the sole representatives of Tamils. We also told them it is important for TNA to attend the Parliamentary Select Committee process. It is imperative that they (TNA) attend the select committee process. We told the Indians that the government did not want to force a solution on people", de Silva stressed.
Tamil National Alliance has said that they would not attend the PSC on devolution claiming it was a time buying exercise. Meanwhile, taking a swipe at Lanka`s Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, the government spokesperson today compared him with Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, saying that Swaraj was playing a constructive role in India.
"She is playing an exemplary role as the leader of the opposition", Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told reporters. "She did not come here to critcise her government or talk politics. She maintains herself in a dignified diplomatic manner", Abeywardena said.
His comments on Swaraj came after the BJP MP, who is heading a 12 member parliamentary delegation, toured north to inspect the reconstruction process and expressed satisfaction over the progress of the projects funded by India. The Indian delegation is due to visit the eastern province tomorrow, on the penultimate day of their six day visit.