South Africa offers to mediate


South Africa has offered to mediate between the government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to resume direct talks, the TNA said.

The TNA said that the offer was made when visiting South African Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim met a TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan yesterday.

Ebrahim had said that his government is willing to work with Sri Lanka to address Tamil concerns and also facilitate the resumption of direct talks between the TNA and the government.

The TNA had meanwhile also briefed Ebrahim on the moves by the government to repeal the 13th Amendment to the constitution and land issues faced by Tamils in the North.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had said in April that he is ready to hold talks with the TNA on a political solution, but first they must join the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the National issue.

In an interview with the Tamil ‘Suda Oli’ newspaper, the President has said that it is wrong for the TNA to claim that the government is responsible for the talks on a political solution not progressing.

Direct talks between the TNA and the government broke down after the TNA refused to agree to the condition put forward by the government that direct talks can only take place parallel to the PSC.