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South African Special Envoy to visit, SL parties oppose

The South African Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, Cyril Ramaphosa, is due to visit the island next week for talks with the government and other groups, to discuss a political solution for the “Northeast problem” a senior government source told the Daily Mirror.

Several parties in the ruling coalition expressed their opposition to the visit.

“No positive results would be brought from a South African model peace initiative as the issues in Sri Lanka and South Africa are totally different. Besides, South Africa cannot win the confidence of the people in Sri Lanka as that country maintained a close link with the LTTE. Therefore, it concerns only on the grievances of minorities,” said spokesperson for the JHU Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe.

“The JHU firmly believes that Sri Lanka can resolve issues with minorities through a domestic mechanism which is the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The TNA must participate in the PSC deliberations without going after foreign governments to resolve our problems,” he said.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa, who leads the National Freedom Front, said the South African plan to initiate talks between the TNA and the government was intended to internationalise the political issues in Sri Lanka.

“Eric Solheim negotiated between the government and the LTTE. Ramaphosa is now trying to initiate a dialogue between the TNA and the government in the same way. But, TNA does not want outsiders to talk to President Mahinda Rajapaksa or the government members. The door is open always for the TNA to come and talk,” Weerawansa said.

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Enter South Africa? (19 April 2014)