US Congress Delegation meets with the TNA
2020-02-17 at 18:59
A meeting between the United States delegation led by Rep. Ami Bera Member of Congress and Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Non-Proliferation and the Leader of the Tamil National Alliance Hon R Sampanthan held today in Colombo.
Mr. Sampanthan briefed the delegation on the current political situation. He further pointed out the work that has been carried out by the previous government concerning framing a new Constitution. The present government speaking in a different voice said Mr. Sampanthan. “The government is saying that the majority community is not in agreement with the power-sharing arrangements, therefore, we need to look for new avenues to resolve the issues, which is not the truth,” said Mr. Sampanthan. “successive governments have made commitments about this matter and all of those are on record the international community must act and ensure that the Government of Sri Lanka delivers on its commitments.
All of these commitments were made during the time of LTTE since the war is over now the government cannot backtrack on its commitments and commitments cannot remain unfulfilled said Mr. Sampanthan.
We want a political solution based on a power-sharing arrangement that are practiced all over the world said Mr. Sampanthan. Sri Lanka is my country I want to live as an equal citizen in this country like the Indian Prime Minister expressed recently at the joint press conference with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Tamil people wants to live with Self-respect dignity with peace and justice and equality in this country.
If we don’t find a meaningful political solution, things could turn bad for the country said Mr. Sampanthan. LTTE was a creation of the failures of successive Sinhala leaders who could not keep to their promises made to the Tamil Leaders said Mr. Sampanthan.
Briefing the delegation TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian M.A Sumanthiran highlighted the importance of the implementation of the UNHRC resolution which was moved by the United States in 2012. The matters referred to in the resolution must be implemented both concerning finding a meaningful resolution to the national question and also to address the accountability issues said Mr. Sumanthiran. Besides, the issue of the disappeared also needs to be addressed, our people are not going to accept any reparations without knowing what happened to their loved ones and if they are not alive how they died said Mr. Sumanthiran.
We expected the OMP and the office of reparations to work together to find out the truth and to compensate the victims but now seems things are not moving and we are stuck said Mr. Sampanthan. We have done all that we can and what we could do now it’s up to the international community to get the government to deliver on its commitments said Mr. Sampanthan.
Highlighting on the importance of Economic recovery Mr. Sumanthiran pointed out the need for new industries to the North and the East to reduce the unemployment issues. He further said there has to be a special effort made to build the economic situation of the North and the East. “Areas like Fishing Agriculture and Animal husbandry needs to be modernized to get the maximum benefit said Mr. Sumanthiran.
The voice of the international community must be heard now said Mr. Sampanthan and your role in achieving a political solution to the Tamil question is inevitable said Mr. Sampanthan.
Rep. Ami Bera assured that the United States will do all things possible to ensure that the Government of Sri Lanka to deliver on its commitments to the International Community.
The meeting lasted for one hour and along with Rep. Ami Bera, Rep. George Holding, Member of Congress Ms. Nikole Burroughs, Subcommittee Staff Director, Mr. Sajit Gandhi, Senior Professional Staff Member, CAPT Peter Schnappauf, USN, Military Liaison Officer, LT James Lyons, USN, Military Liaison Officer, Mr. Martin Kelly, Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Joanna Pritchett, U.S Embassy Political Officer were also present at the meeting.