India wants TNA proposals submitted to Rajapaksa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 June 2010, 06:11 GMT]
Top officials of the Indian government have advised the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to consider submitting its devolution proposals to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa before he leaves to New Delhi on June 7, informed diplomatic sources in Colombo said. The move has come as the Indian Establishment, locked in a corporate race with China, has been pushing Colombo to finalise the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which New Delhi wants signed when Mahinda Rajapaksa visits India. In the meantime, the TNA leadership has invited Tamil parties, except Douglas Devananda, through Tamil channels, to join hands with the alliance before facing the provincial elections in the North. The invitation has also been extended to paramilitary-cum-political outfits aligned with India.

Meanwhile, Mr. Devananda, the paramilitary leader and a cabinet minister in Rajapaksa government, had recently told Tamil political circles in Colombo that he only found the 'Right to Self-Determination' part of TNA's expressed principles as incompatible with not only EPDP's stand related to 'Sri Lankan sovereignty', but also against the substance of TNA's own draft of proposals.

Diplomatic sources further said New Delhi wanted Mr. Devananda on the side of Rajapaksa, while it wished all other Tamil parties to be united under one umbrella and under its guidance in the opposition.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Tamil sovereignty alliance, the Tamil National Peoples' Front (TNPF), led by Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam, said their alliance would not be contesting the upcoming provincial council elections in the North.

Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa has summoned the central committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on June 7 morning at Temple Trees to brief its members of the proposed constitutional reforms by his government before he leaves to New Delhi on June 8 to hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The SLFP central committee comprises more than one thousand members who are presidents and secretaries of party branches, party organizers of youth, women and farmers units.

During his stay in New Delhi, Rajapaksa is expected to meet Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian Congress, and other leaders of the Congress government. He is expected to brief them on steps his government is intended to take in resolving the conflict through constitutional reforms.

The Sri Lankan president would also explain the Indian government of the growing opposition to the CEPA now being pushed by New Delhi, informed UPFA sources said.



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