Rajapaksa to meet Sri Lankan Tamil parties

February 16th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 16 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will soon meet Tamil political leaders to discuss a “democracy road map” for the areas seized from the Tamil Tigers.

The president revealed this to Asian Tribune website, adding that the meeting may coincide with the virtual liquidation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the island’s north.

Rajapaksa will meet leaders of groups such as the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and even the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Asian Tribune reported.

“We needed a military solution to evict the terrorists from the country. Our heroic soldiers have almost liberated Vanni,” he said, referring to the region where the Tamil Tigers are now holed up in a small area.

“In a few days our security forces will free the entire Vanni. So it is time we address the problem politically,” he added.

The president said all Tamil groups, irrespective of their sympathies to the LTTE, would be invited to the meeting.

Asked why he was organising the meeting, Rajapaksa replied: “I am of the opinion that we have to urgently consider ways and means of bringing the people of Vanni into the democratic mainstream.”

He added: “Unless we take quickly some steps to give voice to the people and rehabilitate the displaced families, the sacrifices of the army will have no meaning. Our victories will be wasted.”

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