New Constitution:  TNA seeks int’l backing for its cause

New Constitution:
TNA seeks int’l backing for its cause

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Sampanthan with Senator Ms Petra De Sutter

 

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday reiterated its call for the enactment of a new Constitution before the end of this year. TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan told the visiting Belgium-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group it was important to enact the new Constitution this year.

 

The following is the text of the statement issued by

 

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan’s Office: Briefing the delegation Mr Sampanthan highlighted that the present Sri Lankan Constitution is not enacted based on consensus. The processes of enacting a new Constitution which recognizes the multi-ethnicity and pluralistic nature of this country has begun and the draft Constitution will be placed before the steering committee on this Wednesday. Further speaking Mr Sampanthan said that he wants the processes to succeed and there are opportunities for this process to succeed and we should take maximum use of the prevailing circumstances to find a permanent solution to this longstanding national question.

 

Mr Sampanthan stressed that the new Constitution must be adopted before the end of this year to take this country on a new journey. Further, he said that the country is faced with a choice either to take the country forward or to drag the country backwards. If they want the country to move forward in every aspect then it is inevitable that they adopt a new Constitution, he said.

 

Speaking on the reconciliation process, Mr Sampanthan highlighted that the people are not happy as they do not receive early relief for their problems. He brought to the notice of the delegation of a number of issues faced by the Tamil people in the North and East. Highlighting the large extent of lands occupied by the armed forces Sampanthan said People have lived in these lands for generations and centuries and they want their lands back, but the progress in this matter has been very slow.

 

On the issue of Missing persons, Mr Sampanthan said people want to know as to what has happened to their loved ones and people cannot live in uncertainty forever. The truth must be ascertained he said. Our people are staging a protest for a number of months regarding these matters, but the progress made in these matters are not up to the expectations.

 

Appreciating the EU role in the past, Mr Sampanthan appealed to the delegation to impress upon the government to take the necessary steps to cure its ways to prevent adverse impacts on its people in the future.

 

The Delegation led by (Prof) Ms Petra De Sutter, Senator, President of the Belgium – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group comprised of  Ms Ozlem Ozen, Member of the House, Vice President of the Belgium – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, Hon. Georges Dallemagne, Member of the House, Vice President of the Belgium – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, Hon. Alain Destexhe Senator, Member of the Belgium – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, hon Andries Gryffroy Senator, Member of the Belgium – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, Mr Marc Jolling, Secretary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Office in the Belgium Federal Parliament, and the Belgium Ambassador to Sri Lanka His Excellency Jan Luykx.

 

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Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist

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