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Menon, Narayanan meet Rajapakse


Veeraraghav T M,CNN-IBN
May 22, 2009 at 02:10am IST

Colombo: India is pressing Sri Lanka to move quickly on its promises to give Tamils a political stake in the country. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Adviser MK Narayanan met with President Mahinda Rajapske in Colombo on Thursday.

If Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda is a minister with Rajpakse, Sambandam and the Tamil national alliance MPs were seen as pro Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and now in a post LTTE scenario all of them claim to be the main representatives of the Tamil cause.

"We are the main party and we will take all the other parties together to represent the Tamil cause," said Devananda.

Virtually every Sri Lankan Tamil leader wants to reach out to India.

"I want to meet the younger leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. I also want to meet M Karunanidhi ad he has always spoken for the Tamil people," said," former LTTE leader, V Muralidharan.

And as India engages with Rajapakse, India like the world hopes for a political solution to the Sinhala versus Tamil conflict, a joint statement between Colombo and New Delhi.

The Sri Lankan government will outline a 180 day plan to resettle bulk of the displaced persons to their original homes. Also will begin a dialogue with all political parties including the Tamil parties. And the Sri Lankan government will also proceed with implementing the 13th amendment which provides for directly elected provincial councils.

However, that political solution can come only if the nearly ten parties representing the Tamils unite and engage the Rajpakse government.

"If constructive negotiations take place we will certainly participate in them. But we do not foresee negotiations exclusively with the Sri Lankan government. We think that the Indian role will also have its presence in this negotiating process in some form or the other and that is very encouraging," said Sambandam.

Uniting the Tamil leadership is a critical challenge and India hopes to play a crucial role. It's something that has to be achieved for even a semblance of a political solution to emerge in Sri Lanka.

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