R SAMPANTHAN MEETS RITA IZSÁK-NDIAYE

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Parliament on Thursday recognized an ethnic Tamil lawmaker as the opposition leader for the first time in decades in what is seen a positive step toward postwar reconciliation with the minority community.

Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has met with the visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye.

During her meeting with the Opposition Leader and representatives of the Tamil National Alliance the UN Rapporteur had conveyed that she gathered information from various parties pertaining to serious issues of minorities especially in coexisting in the country.

She had conveyed that the questionable statements were made also stemming from a long drawn conflict.

Rita Izsák-Ndiaye also stated that the foundation for people coexisting is laid out in the constitution and must therefore be adhered to.

The TNA had then informed the UN Rapporteur of efforts towards the formation of a new Constitution claiming concerns surrounding minority issues will be changed through the foundation of the new Constitution.

The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues also called on the need for people to exercise their sovereignty rights in an equal manner.

The UN envoy is in the island on an extended ten day visit and during her stay met with a wide range of stakeholders, including state authorities.