Former NP Governor praises President’s invitation to Tamil diaspora | Sunday Observer

Former NP Governor praises President’s invitation to Tamil diaspora

26 September, 2021

Former Northern Province Governor and SLPP Parliamentarian Dr. Suren Ragavan has welcomed the enthusiasm expressed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to include the Tamil diaspora in talks to strengthen reconciliation and to address the unresolved post-terrorism issues under an internal mechanism.

Dr. Ragavan told the Sunday Observer that President Rajapaksa had openly told the international community that only an internal mechanism would be meaningful in arriving at a meaningful and constructive reconciliation.

“As a former Governor of the Northern Province, I realised the gravity of the post-terrorism grievances in the Province. The President’s call for greater reconciliation and for resolving humanitarian issues should be supported by all political parties in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces and in the country at large.

“The President’s invitation to the Tamil diaspora to engage in the peace-building process in the North and the East is invaluable. When terrorism was active in the North and the East it was the Tamil diaspora which expressed its views in a big way.

“But with the initiative taken by the Government led by President Rajapaksa, the Tamil diaspora could play an effective role in strengthening reconciliation and addressing post-terrorism grievances.

“Some members of the Tamil diaspora are holding key positions as Parliamentarians in Norway, Canada, UK and various other countries they are domiciled in.

Therefore, their participation in the peace building process is vital,” Ragavan said.

Referring to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran’s comment on President Rajapaksa inviting the Tamil diaspora for talks and that the President had excluded the Tamil National Alliance, Ragavan said that inviting Tamil diaspora for talks didn’t mean that he had excluded the TNA.

“When the process gets going, the diaspora and all Tamil parties will be included. Therefore, the TNA Parliamentarian’s claim is meaningless. As the President is genuine by calling for an internal arrangement for a settlement of grievances and strengthening reconciliation, due recognition should be given to it,” the former Northern Governor said.