Colombo Telegraph

Sri Lanka’s Main Opposition Discuss Ethnic Issue With President

COLOMBO, May 14 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s main opposition on Monday called on the president to find a lasting solution to the country’s long dragged ethnic conflict, the president’s spokesman said.

A delegation led by Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the United National Party (UNP) called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a number of senior members of the government, President’s spokesman Bandula Jayasekara said.

The UNP parliamentarian and Opposition Whip John Amaratunga told Xinhua that at the meeting the opposition discussed about the implementation of the accountability report prepared by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission.

Sri Lanka will on May 19 celebrate three years since the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated by the military after 30 years of war. However, the island country have been continuing facing war crimes allegation following the end of the war.

The Sri Lankan government refuted the allegations and appointed the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission to look at some of the allegations amid international pressure.

The U.S. sponsored resolution adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March also called on Sri Lanka to implement the recommendation of the report.

The opposition has asked the ruling party to implement the recommendation while some Sinhala extremist parties in the coalition government opposed it.

“We also discussed about the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee forwarded by the government as a means to find a solution to the country’s ethnic issue between majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils,” Amaratunga said.

The Sri Lankan government has proposed the committee to formulate a political solution to the ethnic issue but the main Tamil political party Tamil National Alliance is yet to appoint its members.

Last week the Sri Lankan government called on the main opposition UNP to get the Tamil National Alliance to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee.

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