TNA reschedules North and East Tamil party talks to this week

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has rescheduled its discussion with all Tamil political parties in the North and East to Friday (25), at which they plan to decide on a suitable political agreement to the Tamil national ethnic problem based on a federal solution.

Speaking to The Morning, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Leader Mavai S. Senathirajah claimed that a solution to the Tamil national ethnic issue should be reached through a federal solution and not a unitary one, and also noted that the coalition party, the TNA, had extended an invitation to all Tamil political parties to engage in a dialogue scheduled to be held on Friday to discuss a suitable political solution to the issues of the Tamil people.

“We are of the stand that a solution cannot be reached based on a unitary basis, but that it can be achieved through a federal solution. We have already been working with four Tamil political parties. We have extended our invitation to all Tamil political parties to attend a dialogue on 25 November at the residence of TNA Leader MP R. Sampanthan in Colombo,” he added.

Senathirajah noted that his party had earlier submitted a report including recommendations on Constitutional reforms to the relevant committee appointed by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in which the party had emphasised that a federal solution would solve the Tamil national ethnic issue.

“We expect to discuss a political solution based on a federal solution and the right to self-determination. We handed over a report to the Constitutional Reforms Committee set up by Rajapaksa, emphasising that a federal solution would solve the political issue,” he further added.

He also said that based on these recommendations, his party is willing to initiate a dialogue with President Ranil Wickremesinghe as he had already extended an invitation to all Tamil political parties for a discussion.

“We are ready to speak to the Government on the recommendations that we have submitted to the said Constitutional Reforms Committee. We would like to initiate a dialogue with President Wickremesinghe based on his invitation to Parliament to come to a suitable solution to the Tamil political issue,” he elaborated.

The TNA has extended its invitation to the Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani led by MP C.V. Wigneswaran, the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front led by former MP Suresh Premachandran, the Tamil National Party led by Attorney N. Srikantha, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation led by MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan, and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam led by MP D. Siddarthan.

“We also invite the Tamil National People’s Front led by MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam to participate in this discussion,” he added

Even though the TNA had scheduled the same meeting last week at Sampanthan’s residence, most political parties were not present, claiming that they were unable to attend on short notice.

While addressing Parliament on 10 November, President Wickremesinghe invited all Tamil MPs to a discussion scheduled this week regarding issues faced by the Tamil people and to resolve them amicably without any outside interference prior to the country’s 75th Independence celebrations.

Earlier, speaking to The Morning regarding the above discussion, TNA MP President’s Counsel (PC) M.A. Sumanthiran noted that his party would primarily discuss resolving the Tamil national ethnic problem.

“When President Wickremesinghe said the same on the day of Deepavali, I responded the very next day and said that we will fully lend our co-operation. He knows what is necessary. It must be done quickly. The resolution of the Tamil national ethnic issue will be discussed mainly at the meeting. The President knows what that issue is, and it has to be remedied by way of a new Constitution. He himself presented a draft to Parliament on 16 January 2019, and it has to be taken forward,” he added.