Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, in a second round meeting with the South African delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ibrahim, has said the TNA is prepared to engage in talks with the government, but the Alliance is cautious that it should not be deceived by the government’s manipulations.
The South African delegation met the TNA leadership on Wednesday (26) in Colombo, where discussions had taken place between the two sides on the possibility of resuming talks between the government and the TNA.
During the first round of talks, the TNA leadership briefed the delegation on the issues with regard to the 13th Amendment and various problems in the North and East in the post-war context.
Following the talks with the TNA, the South African delegation met Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, on the current stalemate situation of the talks between the government and the TNA.
During the second round of talks between the TNA and the South African delegation, the TNA leader confirmed that fullest cooperation would be rendered by the TNA in finding a genuine settlement to the Tamil question. Sampanthan also said the Tamils in the country expect a durable solution to the problem. However, the government was not prepared to address the genuine grievances of the Tamils. The TNA felt that it should not be deceived by the government.
The South African delegation, which returned home hurriedly due to the critical condition of Dr. Nelson Mandela, in response to the TNA delegation said the South African mediatory effort to bring a solution to the Lankan Tamil question will continue with the coordination of India, USA and other countries that are in support of a peaceful solution to the ethnic crisis in the country.