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* India to help create a platform for talks between Sri Lankan government and Tamil party
Mon, Oct 1, 2012, 06:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 01, Colombo: The Indian government has said that it would help create a platform to restart stalled talks between the Sri Lankan government and the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

The Indian officials have expressed concern over the delay in the two sides arriving at a mutually agreeable position towards a political solution to the ethnic issue.

India hopes to get both sides to initiate meaningful talks through a Parliamentary Select Committee process. However, according to highly placed Indian sources India would not play the role of mediator.

Following a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa from Indian Premier Manmohan Singh during his visit to New Delhi last month to put pressure on the TNA to make the party participate in the reconciliation process, the Indian government extended an invitation to the TNA to visit New Delhi for a discussion.

A delegation of TNA representatives led by its leader R. Sampanthan is to travel to India on the 10th of this month following the invitation extended by New Delhi.

Meanwhile, TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said the agenda for discussions with the Indian government is likely to be received this week and the talks are likely to center around the political solution to the ethnic issue.

Once the agenda is received, the TNA's parliamentary group is to meet to discuss the party's stance and approach on the issues.

During the meeting with Indian Premier, Sri Lankan President has insisted on TNA participating in the parliamentary select committee to formulate a national solution since all parties should be involved to discuss critical issues that require changes in the constitution.

President Rajapaksa has earlier said that he will accept any decision of the parliament on the ethnic issue and a solution should not be confined to discussions with one party.

Indian media meanwhile reported that New Delhi will ask the TNA to somewhat relax their stance, while agreeing that there should be some input from the discussions the two sides held so far on the issue.

India had reportedly also pledged its support to Sri Lanka at the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights to take place in Geneva on November 1.

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