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TNA dismisses secret talks with govt. in Geneva

2014 Mar 31

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday rejected claims that secret talks had been held in Geneva between the TNA and the government prior to the vote on the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka last Thursday.

TNA National List MP M. A. Sumanthiran told The Island that there was absolutely no basis for these reports in certain local media though he had met Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UNP in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha at the diplomatic mission there.

Responding to a query, MP Sumanthiran said that during the meeting he urged the government to accept the US resolution and to work with the UN. The National List MP was accompanied by Jaffna District MP S. Sritharan. He said that recent arrests carried out in the country too, were raised.

Ambassador Aryasinha told The Island that it was nothing more than a courtesy call.

The ambassador said: " On 17 March 2014  TNA Member of Parliament M. A. Sumanthiran, having sought an appointment, met with me at the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission, accompanied by Member of Parliament S. Shritharan. It was made clear by MP Sumanthiran that the meeting was a courtesy call, since it was his practice to visit Sri Lankan envoys in the capitals he visits. Several officials on the Sri Lankan delegation to the HRC were present with me at the time and the conversation was of a general nature.  ."  

Well informed government sources said that fresh round of talks would be the last thing on the minds of the TNA leadership in the wake of the passage of the resolution. Sources pointed out that in the immediate aftermath of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopting anti-Sri Lanka resolution, the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) called for the immediate launch of an international investigation. The GTF said that the TNA too, took a similar position on the proposed probe.

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