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Sri Lanka rejects South Africa offer to mediate talks with Tamils

Sri Lanka has rejected South Africa’s offer to broker talks between the Tamil National Alliance and the Colombo government, The Island newspaper reports.

The government will not accept any third party mediation, the paper said.

There is no need for an external role in essentially a domestic political process, it quoted External Affairs Ministry sources as saying in response to a recent offer by South Africa to assist Sri Lanka in the post-war reconciliation process.

A senior foreign ministry official said that assistance had been offered by a South African government delegation which met External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris in Colombo last Friday.

South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim and former Minister of Constitutional Affairs Roelf Meyer met Prof. Peiris to discuss ongoing efforts to achieve peace.

Correspondents in Colombo, citing government officials, said that the South Africa had earlier offered to encourage investment in Sri Lanka as part of the offer.

President Rajapaksa’s government has ignored the international community’s calls for it to negotiate with the TNA towards a solution to ‘legitimate Tamil grievances’

Instead Colombo has intensified the military’s role in administering the Tamil areas.

See our earlier post: South Africa offers assistance for Sri Lanka’s ‘peace efforts’ (10 Aug 2012)