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* South Africa will never support attempts to divide Sri Lanka - Minister
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 10:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 24, Colombo: South Africa will never accept the concept of a separate homeland in Sri Lanka and will never support the attempts to divide the country, a Sri Lankan government Minister said.

The Leader of the House Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva said South Africa has rejected the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora's request to accept its concept of a separate homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east or their Transnational Government led by Viswanathan Rudrakumaran.

Minister de Silva, who led a delegation to South Africa last week to hold discussion on that country's procedures and experiences of Truth and Reconciliation, said the South African leaders assured him that they would never support any scheme which attempts to divide Sri Lanka.

Participating in the SLFP Central Working Committee meeting of the Bentara-Elpitiya electorate, the Minister has said that the South African leaders have rejected a request to accept the Tamil Transnational Government.

The Sri Lankan delegation's primary focus was on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission aiming to understand how the South African mechanism can help Sri Lanka's own reconciliation process, following the defeat of terrorism.

However, the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda, who was a member of the delegation to South Africa, said the problems the two countries have faced are different and cannot be compared.

"Their problems cannot be compared with ours although there are some similarities," Minister Devananda told the BBC Tamil Service in a discussion after his return.

He said the delegation learned how they reached a solution based on their experience.

The South African officials agreed to Sri Lankan delegation's stance that Sri Lanka needs to have its own mechanism to find solutions to internal problems, Minister Devananda said.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, interested in learning more about the South African model of restorative justice, has discussed Sri Lanka's goals in achieving reconciliation and addressing accountability issues with the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma.

At the request of Sri Lanka, President Zuma recently appointed the Deputy President of the African National Congress Cyril Ramaphosa as South Africa's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka to assist the reconciliation process in the island nation.

The Sri Lanka delegation to South Africa also included Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faizer Mustapha, Monitoring Member of Parliament of the External Affairs Ministry Sajin de Vass Gunawardena and Organizer of the SLFP for Batticaloa Arun Thambimuttu.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka sends delegation to South Africa to study reconciliation model

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