TNA hopeful of reaching power-sharing deal

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will hold talks on power sharing when its leaders meet the government delegation for a third round of talks on Tuesday.“We will focus on powers which could be devolved to the provinces and those retained by the Centre,” TNA National List MP and lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran said.

“We will not be concentrating on the 13th Amendment or the current constitution, but hope to discuss something beyond the existing structure,” he said. Mr. Sumanthiran said the government delegation involved in the talks had been accommodative enabling the two sides to have frank discussions.

“With the next two rounds of talks we hope to reach an understanding on power sharing,” he said.During a meeting with newspaper editors last Tuesday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa commenting on the ongoing talks between the government and the TNA said similar dialogues would also be conducted with other Tamil parties including the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).

“Whoever we hold discussions with, we will not give into what the Tigers (LTTE) had been demanding,” the President said. He said he was not willing to give a deadline as to when the talks with the TNA and other Tamil parties would be concluded.

The government delegation is led by former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake while the TNA delegation is headed by parliamentarian Mavai Senadhiraja.

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