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TNA to ignore Indian MPs’ advice, boycott PSC

COLOMBO: Ignoring the advice of Indian MPs, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will stay away from the Sri Lankan Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which is to be set up to find a political

Published: 23rd April 2012 02:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:42 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: Ignoring the advice of Indian MPs, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will stay away from the Sri Lankan Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which is to be set up to find a political solution to the Tamil question.

“The PSC is only meant to hoodwink the world into believing that something is being done to solve the Tamil problem. It is only a delaying tactic. Such an assessment is based on past experience with PSCs, commissions and committees set up by the Lankan government to go into the ethnic question, ” said Suresh Premachandran, spokesman of the TNA.  

“The only aim of the PSC is enable the government to tell the UN Human Rights Commission in November, that a parliamentary process to find a political solution is on, and therefore, Sri Lanka should be given more time,” Premachandran told Express here on Sunday.

On Saturday, the leader of the Indian MPs’ delegation, Sushma Swaraj, had told the media that the delegation wanted the Tamil National Alliance  to join the PSC.

History of Broken Promises

“But the TNA is unmoved because of the Sri Lankan government’s history of broken promises,” Premachandran said.

In the 1990s, there was a PSC under Mangala Moonesinghe, to go into the question of devolving power to the Tamils. This committee had met more than a hundred times, but its report was never implemented.

When Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power, he set up an All Party Representative Committee (APRC) on devolution with an Experts Committee to help it with the legal and other issues. But the reports of these two committee were not implemented.

In 2010, the government set up Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). But when its report was submitted, Ministers G L Peiris and Nimal Sripala de Silva publicly said that the report could not be implemented fully.

In January this year, President Rajapaksa made a promise to the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna, that he would devolve power to the Tamils “going beyond the 13th Amendment of the constitution.”  But even while Krishna was in the island, Rajapaksa denied that he made any such promise.

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