TNA meets Armitage

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 09:35 GMT]
"The United States of America should help the Tamils to find an alternate and just political solution to their longstanding problems while reiterating its stand against the division of the country," the delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Richard Armitage when it met the latter at the official residence of the US ambassador in Colombo Thursday evening.

Mr. R. Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader, led the TNA delegation which comprised parliamentarians Messrs G.G.Gajendrakumar, N. Raviraj and K.Thangavadivel.

US ambassador in Colombo Mr.Ashely Wills and state department officials who accompanied Mr. Armitage participated in the discussion, which lasted for about twenty minutes.

The TNA delegation pointed out to Mr. Armitage that the displaced people are still unable to go back to their houses and properties even after several clauses in the cease-fire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government had been implemented.

The TNA delegation brought to the notice of the US visiting diplomat that, "government forces in the Jaffna peninsula are engaged in establishing new high security zones. We can see such high security zones in Thenmaradchchi area. People in the area fear that government troops are preparing themselves for another war.”

“We want the military to move away from the areas because 99 percent of the troops are from Sinhala community. Tamils in past had undergone immense suffering and hardships at the hands of government Sinhala troops,” the delegation further said.

"Since the country attained independence the Tamil leadership had agitated every government in power to find a reasonable and just political solution to the Tamil question. All Sinhala governments while in power had thwarted all attempts made by moderate Tamil leadership in this regard. Tamil people are not against the peace process. Always they had supported peace moves. Even now they support the peace process. Opposition to peace efforts always had come from Sinhalese politicians. Even now some Sinhala political parties oppose the present peace process. Sinhala opposition to the peace process to find a just political solution has been the sole cause for the armed liberation struggle of the LTTE," the TNA delegation pointed out to the US Deputy Secretary of the State.

Responding to the TNA delegation, Mr. Armitage said that US President George Bush is very keen to see a political solution emerge to Sri Lanka's crisis.


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