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International presence needed at any talks with govt say Tamil parties

Any talks with the government on a political solution must take place in the presence of international officials said Tamil political parties.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called for an international observer to be present, highlighting the need to ensure commitments made were fulfilled.

“We are prepared to talk to him anytime, but in the past this has been without a time frame. As a result we would very much like an international observer’s presence at talks to ensure that the commitments he gives are known to everyone," TNA leader R. Sampanthan told The Hindu, commenting on remarks made by the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview with the paper the day before.

The president of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, called for "international mediators", however stressed that the talks must be on "the basis of how the Tamil nation's right to self-determination can be realised in a multi-national state".

"If talks are to take place it will have to be with international facilitation, who will be able to force the [Sri Lankan] state [to act] but not put restrictions on what type of united country solution it will ultimately be," he told the Tamil Guardian, adding that "in principle we are not opposed to even India playing that role."

"Talks cannot be on the 13 Amendment," he said however. "We reject the 13th Amendment in total and refuse to consider it even as a starting point."

According to The Hindu, the leader of the Democratic People's Front, Mano Ganeshan, supported the TNA's call for international observers.

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