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SL political party delegation to visit India; to meet PM

October 10, 2012 17:40 IST

With their talks with Sri Lankan government deadlocked, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders on Wednesday left for New Delhi to apprise India of the current situation and seek its intervention in finding a political solution to the three-decade old Tamil question.

The delegation led by TNA Parliamentary Party chief R Sampanthan will be in the Indian capital for a week at the invitation of the Indian government during which they are expected to meet the top political leadership including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"We will discuss with the Indian government issues concerning the Tamil people," TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said.

The high-level visit has raised hopes in Sri Lanka that India would nudge TNA to join the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to thrash out a political solution to the conflict that ended in 2009.

The TNA has been opposed to joining the PSC, saying there was no clarity on the agenda. However, the government holds that bilateral talks with TNA falls short of inclusivity of all stake holders in the attempts to achieve a lasting solution.

TNA has given clear hints in the past week that it would seek India's intervention in the process to find a political solution. Party MP Suresh Premachandran had last week said that the TNA would consider joining the PSC if India sets the agenda for such a forum.

The delegation would also meet with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Minister of State in PMO V Narayanaswamy and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.

India has been pushing Sri Lanka to quickly follow-up the military victory, achieved after three decades, with a political solution that fulfills "genuine aspirations" of minority Tamils.

During the meetings, the Indian side is expected to brief the TNA delegation on the recent talks between Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New Delhi.

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