Tamil Diplomat

Talks held in London to enhance confidence building measures in Sri Lanka

M. A. Sumanthiran, Member of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Suren Surendiran , the spokesperson for Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in a joint media release issued today said they had a meeting with the Sri Lankan foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera over the last two days in London and discussed various issues including confidence building measures between all communities within and outside Sri Lanka.

Earlier on Friday, Sumanthiran and Surendiran said in an interview they gave to a Tamil TV service in London that only the issues connected to the immediate needs of the Tamil people in the Homeland would be discussed in the meeting.

While saying that various stakeholders also participated in this meeting, they did not mention the names of the people, despite some media reports that the former Minister of Norway and the Norwegian Peace Envoy Eric Solheim and Martyn Desinger of the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland were also present in the meeting.

Full media release is as follows:

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) continued their informal dialogue over the last two days in London with various stakeholders to enhance confidence building measures between all communities within and outside Sri Lanka. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mangala Samaraweera was also present.

The need for constructive engagement by the Sri Lankan Diaspora was discussed, including the needs of displaced people. It was agreed that a further meeting will be called to present the requirements to various High Commissioners and Ambassadors based in Sri Lanka, with the aim to raise funds for housing of over two thousand families in these newly released lands.

The release of prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in the light of the review by the Ministry of Justice was also discussed. The TNA and the GTF further raised the issue of listing of Diaspora organisations and individuals by the previous Government.

Ideas of ways in which the Sri Lankan Diaspora could assist by bringing its exceptional capacity and capabilities were explored.