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* Sri Lankan government ally opposes South African mediation in national issue
Sun, Jul 6, 2014, 11:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 06, Colombo: Sri Lankan government ally and coalition partner of the ruling alliance, the National Freedom Front (NFF) has expressed opposition to the mediation of South Africa in finding a solution to the national problem.

National Freedom Front (NFF) Media Spokesman Mohammad Muzammil has said that the party led by government Minister Wimal Weerawansa does not view the expected visit of South Africa's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, and Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa favorably.

Ramaphosa is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday with a seven-member delegation to hold talks with the government, the opposition and other civil society groups in an effort to work out a lasting solution to the ethnic issue.

Speaking to Ceylon Today, the spokesman has said that Ramaphosa's visit to the island to assist in resolving the national issue is seen by the party as a third party involvement in the country's internal affairs and the party opposes such involvement.

If the government allows Ramaphosa's planned visit, the NFF would view it as a serious matter of concern, which would compel them to take a decision whether to leave the government alliance or not, Muzammil has told Ceylon Today.

The spokesman has noted that the fourth of the 12 proposals the party submitted to the President for government reforms specifically states that " in the name of reconciliation and devolution of power no intervention of external state parties or other parties including South Africa shall be considered as a facilitator."

He said the government on principle agreed to the 12 proposals the party put forward.

"Government on principle agreed to our 12-point proposal. Our fourth proposal in this programme underscores our opposition to engage a third party to discuss a problem already solved by military means. Eric Solheim came here in the past to discuss with Prabhakaran. Is Ramaphosa coming here to discuss with the TNA, which had close links to the LTTE at that time? We don't see any justification in inviting a third party to hold discussions with the TNA, which is in Parliament now," the spokesman was quoted as saying.

A government delegation, headed by the Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and sent to South Africa in February this year to explore the possibility of using the South African mechanism for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka after eradicating terrorism, came to the conclusion that the problems the two countries have faced are different and cannot be compared.

Minister Douglas Devananda, who was a member of the delegation to South Africa, after his return said the problems the two countries have faced are different and cannot be compared, and the delegation learned how they reached a solution based on their experience.

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