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Once again, Sri Lanka President postpones meeting scheduled with TNA

The high-level meeting scheduled to be held between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the President of Sri Lanka has been postponed for the third time.

TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran stated that the discussions scheduled to be held by the President yesterday (15th March), has been postponed to 25th March.

After coming to power, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not held any official meeting with the Tamil National Alliance, till date. Even though meetings were scheduled two times before, they also got cancelled at the last moment.

“The President has agreed to hold discussions with TNA MPs led by R. Sampanthan, on 15th March. It was informed that these discussions will be held at the Presidential Secretariat”, TNA Media Spokesperson, MP M. A. Sumanthiran had said earlier.

According to him, the President had fixed a date for this meeting – which had been cancelled two times at the last-minute – following a protest by Tamil parliamentarians in front of the Presidential Secretariat.

TNA had been expecting to discuss about a political solution to the national question, the new constitution being drafted by the government and development activities in the North and East, with the President.

The meeting has been postponed this time, following a decision taken by the Sri Lankan government to reject the ongoing demand of the war affected Tamil people victimized for truth and justice.

It was also announced on the same day that the Cabinet had decided to pay 100,000 rupees each to Tamil mothers, ignoring their repeated requests to reveal the fate of their relatives who had been forcibly disappeared.

“The Cabinet has approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice to pay a one-time lump sum allowance of Sri Lankan Rs. 100,000 for rehabilitation of the family, to the next of kin of the disappeared person, who has a “Certificate of Absence” issued by the Registrar General on the basis of the findings of the Office of the Missing Persons,” the government said announcing its cabinet decisions.

Even though two years have passed since TNA leader R. Sampanthan wrote to the President urging the government to stop forcibly seizing land owned by Tamils in the North and East where the majority are Tamils, a reply is still awaited.

About 15 parliamentary representatives of the Tamil people in the North, East and Colombo staged a protest in front of the Presidential Secretariat, after a failed attempt to meet the President on 24th February.

Sri Lanka’s head of the state was accused of being the “President of only the Sinhala-Buddhist” that day, due to avoiding discussing the burning issues of the Tamil people with their official representatives.

“Clearly, the President has tried to reconfirmed today that he the President of only Sinhala and Buddhist people in Sri Lanka,” Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Batticaloa District MP Shanakiyan Rajaputhiran Rasamanickam told reporters in the capital.

The Presidential Media Unit had condemned as a “conspiracy”, the MPs’ visit to raise issues of the Tamil people, “when the President was not in office” .

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