TNA leader, R Sampanthan emphasised the need for international intervention in achieving a political solution to the Tamil people at a conference with the US delegation led by the Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia and the Pacific, Ami Bera, in Colombo last week.
Sampanthan reiterated Sri Lanka's obligations to fulfil its commitments made under the Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987. Disagreeing with statements made by the Sri Lankan Government that the majority of the Sri Lankan population was against the idea of power-sharing arrangements, he stated that “we [the Tamil people] want a political solution based on a power-sharing arrangement”. “Tamil people want to live with self-respect, dignity, peace and justice and equality in this country,” he added.
He stressed that the emergence of the LTTE was a result of successive Sinhala political leaders failing to comply with the promises the state had made under the Accord. In the absence of a “meaning political solution, things could turn bad for the country,” Sampanthan said to the US representative.
Further, TNA MP, M A Sumanthiran, who was also an attendee at the meeting, explained the Sri Lankan government’s failures to implement the American-backed resolution from 2012. Among other transitional justice and accountability objectives, the Resolution specifically called on the government to carry out the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). As well as highlighting the demand for justice for the murdered and enforced disappeared, Sumanthiran also noted the need for economic recovery in the upcountry.
“We have done all that we can and what we could do,” said Sampanthan. “The voice of the international community must be heard now” and is “inevitable” in achieving a political solution to the Tamil people, added Sampanthan.
In response, Bera assured the US will ensure that the Sri Lankan Government delivers on its commitments to the international community.
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