Oct 11, New Delhi: Sri Lanka's major Tamil political party Tamil National Alliance has said that they will consider joining the parliamentary select committee (PSC) proposed by the government to solve the ethnic issue if the government assures them that they will not be cheated again.
During his hour-long meeting with the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in New Delhi, the visiting Leader of the TNA Parliamentary delegation, R. Sampanthan has discussed the party's stance on the Sri Lankan government's proposals for power devolution to the minority Tamils.
The TNA leader has told the Indian Minister that if the Sri Lankan government can remove the 'negativity' and assure that the Tamil people would not be cheated again the party might condider joining the proposed PSC to achieve a solution.
"If we get assurances that we will not be cheated again and that our people will not be deceived once again, we are ready to walk towards the path of finding a (political) solution. The negativity has to be removed," Sampanthan has been quoted in the media as saying.
"If the PSC has the intention of thrashing out a solution and has an agenda for (arriving at a political solution), we are ready to consider it. But, we are not ready to get cheated again," he has added.
A seven-member delegation of the TNA, led by Sampanthan, is visiting India from 10-13 October 2012 at the invitation of the Indian External Affairs Minister.
The delegation is will also meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and exchange views with the National Security Adviser and the Foreign Secretary.
India's invitation to the TNA followed the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to New Delhi last month during which the President discussed the ethnic issue with the India Prime Minister in an effort to persuade the TNA to join the parliamentary select committee process.
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.
The TNA delegation has pointed out to the Indian minister that Tamils in Sri Lanka should be given an opportunity to lead a dignified life and there should be no effort to "cheat them again".
The Tamil party has earlier said that it will participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed by the government to resolve the ethnic issue if the Indian Centre government can provide an agenda for talks.
The Indian government has offered help to create a platform to restart stalled talks between the two parties and it is expected that the Indian government will persuade the TNA to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to bring up a permanent solution to the power devolution.