India must help ensure meaningful devolution to merged North-East says TNA

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, that the country must ensure a solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka through the meaningful devolution of power to a merged North-East.

The TNA also urged India to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to release Tamil political prisoners and to address the issue of disappearances.

Ms Swaraj, who arrived in Colombo on Friday for a two day visit in order to prepare for the Indian prime minister’s visit next month, met with the TNA leader, R Sampanthan, and MPs, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, M A Sumanthiran and Selvam Adaikkalanathan, reported BBC Tamil.

1170966261polRaising the ongoing internal displacement of Tamils six years after the end of the armed conflict, the TNA said that despite pledging to address the ongoing issue of resettlement Sri Lanka’s new government had not taken any action.

The issues affecting North-East fishermen were also discussed during the meeting. The situation must not be allowed to continue and needs to be addressed urgently, the TNA said.

During her visit, Ms Swaraj also met with Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena,prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, and her counterpart, Mangala Samaraweera and

Ms Swaraj and Mr Samaraweera held “an extensive and cordial discussion covering a wide range of areas relating to bilateral cooperation”, Sri Lanka foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Saturday.