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‘We cannot indefinitely wait’ - TNA tells senior UN official

The Tamil people are “not satisfied” with progress made by the Sri Lankan government Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan told the United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, as they met in Colombo earlier this week.

During the hour long meeting Mr Sampanthan raised various issues that “affect the day to day life of the Tamil people living in the North and East,” according to a TNA press release.

Amongst the issues discussed was the implementation of a United Nations resolution on Sri Lanka, which calls for a hybrid court to be set up and try those accused of war crimes. “Progress shown in the implementation of the resolution is not satisfactory and Government must expedite its actions,” said the TNA leader.

The TNA said Mr Sampanthan also highlighted the military occupation of land in the North-East, quoting him as saying “there is no justification for the government not to release these lands”.

The subject of missing persons – of which there are at least 20,000 according to commission submissions according to Mr Sampanthan – were also discussed, alongside a new constitution for the island and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Despite promises made to the international community “very little progress has been made” with regards to repealing the heavily criticised bill said Mr Sampanthan.

“We cannot indefinitely wait on these matters,” the TNA leader was quoted as saying. “We cannot allow these people to play petty political games and victimize our people once again.”

Mr Sampanthan was accompanied by M A Sumanthiran, S Adaikkalanathan, S Sitharthtan and S Ananthan.  

During a 2015 visit, Mr Feltman concluded that "credible, tangible progress" in reconciliation, accountability and human rights is a "prerequisite to the achievement of sustainable peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka".

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