Need to address Tamil political issue: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

Sirisena also urged the parties to put an end to power struggle, both within his own unity government and within the opposition groups.

Published: 08th May 2018 06:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2018 06:14 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena (File)

By PTI

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today underlined the need to address the concerns of the Tamil minority in a political arrangement, saying though the problem has ended militarily, but no solution has been given for its causes.

Addressing Parliament on the ceremonial opening of a new session, he also called for support from political parties in addressing issues faced by the Tamil minority community in the war-affected North and East districts.

"Although the problem has ended militarily, no solution has been given for its causes," Sirisena said, referring to the 30-year-long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which left over one lakh people dead.

The LTTE, which led the separatist war for a separate Tamil homeland, was finally crushed by the Lankan military in 2009 with the death of its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Referring to a main concern about land owned by Tamils being held for military purposes in the former conflict regions, the President said, almost 85 per cent of the land had now been released.

Sirisena also urged the parties to put an end to power struggle, both within his own unity government and within the opposition groups.

Highlighting achievements of his three years rule, the Sri Lankan President listed the economic achievements despite facing many natural hardships like drought.

"We have raised income levels while fighting to tackle the debt as high as rupees 10.3 trillion.

We have reduced the crime level by 30 per cent and boosted exports to its highest growth," he said.

In a surprise move last month, Sirisena had suspended Parliament for about a month in the backdrop of the ongoing political turmoil in the country.

The President made the decision to prorogue Parliament by virtue of the powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution.

The unity government of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) was thrown into a crisis after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's new party pulled off a stunning victory in February's local elections seen as a referendum on the ruling alliance.

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