Concerns expressed by South Africa in facilitating talks to deal with the Tamil question has been appreciated by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The alliance is expected to give due consideration towards the South African move after the Eastern Provincial Council polls are over in September, according to TNA Spokesperson and the Jaffna District Parliamentarian, Suresh K. Premachandran. Premachandran told to the Colombo media the South African delegation led by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim had two rounds of talks with the TNA when they were in Colombo last week. “The delegation is very keen in assisting in the fresh peace initiatives between the Lankan Government and the TNA. During the two meetings with the South African delegation in Colombo, the TNA outlined the constraints it faces in continuing with the peace talks since the arms conflict ended in 2009. There were certain views which surfaced on South Africa’s concerns over the facilitation process in the Lankan issue. The TNA welcomes the South African facilitation as the country also went through `the mill’ in bringing an end to its apartheid crisis.  Therefore sharing South Africa’s experience in dealing with our crisis will help in a big way. Norway’s facilitation cannot be compared with what South Africa could deliver. Norway was only a facilitator. Whereas South Africa has its own experience in successfully dealing with the racial issues,” Premachandran said. He also said that a couple of months ago the TNA met some of the veteran South African politicians during the centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) and had discussions on the Lankan issue. The South African delegation, which was in Colombo last week had talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa,Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister Prof .G.L.Peiris. Soon after their arrival in Colombo the South Africans met the TNA . Thereafter the delegation had a second round of meeting following the talks they had with the government representatives. Premachandran also said South Africa has invited the TNA to South Africa for further talks and due consideration will be given by the alliance over the South African invitation once the Eastern Provincial polls are over in September.]]>


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