Leader of the SLMC, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said he would meet the TNA today and attempt to persuade them to resume talks with the government. This follows a request to him from Indian Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj to try to persuade the TNA to talk with the government.
‘The SLMC fully supports a political solution to the North-East problem; and a consensus between the government and the TNA is vital in that respect. I will speak to the TNA on Thursday and try to persuade them to come to the negotiation table with the government in order to arrive at a consensus on the proposals to be submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee,” he said.
Mr. Hakeem expressed confidence that TNA leader R. Sampanthan and other members of the TNA would respond positively to his endeavour.
Meanwhile, taking a different view of the issue, TNA MP M. Sumanthiran said the TNA was not aware of any request by Mrs. Swaraj to Mr. Hakeem to act as facilitator between the government and the TNA.
“We have seen this only in the media; no one has informed us officially or unofficially. The TNA and the SLMC have a cordial relationship and often discuss political issues. There is nothing unusual in Mr. Hakeem meeting the TNA,” he added.
Mr. Sumanthiran stressed that the TNA would talk directly with the government if necessary. He said a negotiators or facilitator would not be necessary for that. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)