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‘Historic’ meeting for Sri Lankan Miniority

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Minister Douglas Devananda is among the participants
Historic’ meeting for Sri Lankan Tamils:BBC

Several political parties, representing miniority Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka, have for the first time in post-war period gathered in Switzerland for a two-day consultations.

The meeting, at the initiative of Tamil dispora groups, is being attended by several political parties representing almost all shades of Tamil and Muslim political opinion.

This is the first of such meeting in the recent past, aiming for political consensus on issues concerning Sri Lanka’s Tamil and Muslim minorities.

The Tamil National Alliance , seen as parliamentary proxies of the LTTE during the conflict, are also attending the meet, along with their erstwhile Tamil adversaries who are with the Government.

Muslims and Indian Tamils

The political parties representing the Tamils of Indian Origin are also attending the meet. During the war, the Tamil polity was fractured on pro and anti LTTE lines. Political parties representing Muslims, who are mainly Tamil speakers, also were taking a different line to safeguard the Muslim interests.

Sri Lankan Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda , who heads the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party(EPDP), speaking to BBC Tamil Service from Zurich, said the aim of the meeting was to arrive at a “common ground” on issues affecting minorities in the island nation to negotiate with the government.

There was no fixed agenda for the meeting , he said , adding that each party brought forward its own agenda points.

His party wanted to discuss the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) , the devolution of power to provinces and granting of amnesty to political detainees and former militants who surrendered during the war.

The minister said the parties would hopefully arrive at some consensus at the end of the meeting.



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November 21, 2009 at 9:20 am

Posted in News

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