Christina Rocca meets TNA delegation

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 May 2004, 11:01 GMT]
"The international community should tell publicly to the Sri Lankan government that it would not prevent Tamils going in their own way to achieve their rights if Sinhala leaders fail to political solution to meet their legitimate aspirations. This will contribute to the success of the current peace process in finding a lasting political solution," Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan Friday appealed to Ms Christina Rocca, US State Department Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs Friday, sources said.

Christina Rocca
American Assistant Secretary of State Ms Christina Rocca (Photo: BBC)
A TNA parliamentary delegation led by Mr.Sampanthan and comprised parliamentarians Messrs Jospeh Pararajasingham and Suresh Premachchandran met with Ms Christina Rocca at the official residence of the US Ambassador Mr.Jeffry Lunstead in Colombo.

Mr.Jeffry Lunstead and several US diplomats were present with Ms Christina Rocca during the discussion.

Mr.Sampanthan pointed out to the visiting US diplomat the urgent necessity of establishing the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in northeast province. The SL government should give first priority to the establishment of the ISGA before commencing talks on finding final political solution, Mr.Sampanthan reportedly said.

"The Sinhala political leadership has still not come to sense even after two decade old war that a political solution fulfilling the aspirations of Tamils should be found. In this context we first need an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) to reconstruct the war-ravaged province and to resettle and rehabilitate hundreds of thousand internally displaced Tamil families in their lands.

"If the Sinhala leadership thinks that without first establishing the ISGA they could find a final political solution to the ethnic problem talks will not lead any positive results," Mr.Sampanthan told Ms Christina Rocca.

Tamil people want that their urgent civic needs addressed by the regional level administration and not by central government. At present more than ninety percent of the shortcomings and problems of northeast Tamils are not addressed by the central government. "It is impractica for us to go to Colombo to obtain support and authorization for every development activity to be carried out in the Northeast. Tamils need an autonomous body, ISGA at regional level to fulfill their urgent needs and rectify shortcomings", said Mr.Sampanthan.

"We cannot wait indefinitely without a just and fair political solution to our problems in Northeast. The establishment of ISGA for the northeast province is urgently needed to reconstruct the war-ravaged province," said Mr.Sampanthan.

The Sinhala political leadership has a tendency to dilute proposals put forwarded by Tamils to find a just and fair political solution since the country gained independence. Even now they are adopting the same policy. The Sinhala political leadership has continues to fail to understand the gravity of Tamil national question, Mr.Sampanthan told the visiting US diplomat.

The TNA delegation made a request to Ms Christina Rocca that the US government should lift the ban on the LTTE in U.S. The delegation argued that at the last general election Tamils in the northeast had voted confirming the sole representative status of the LTTE. The lifting of ban on the LTTE would be considered as a positive move to make the current peace process a meaningful one, TNA delegation pointed out.


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