BY Mirudhula Thambiah
In the wake of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) giving an ultimatum of one week from 10 January to yesterday (17) for the Government to decide regarding the issues of the release of Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act (PTA) prisoners, considering the issue of missing persons, and the release of lands in the North, the Party’s Spokesman and Parliamentarian, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran said yesterday that no response was received from the side of the Government and that the party will not meet with President Ranil Wickremesinghe or the Government again.
Speaking to The Morning, Sumanthiran also noted yesterday that the President himself gave a timeframe regarding the matter but that there was no progress at all. “Now, he comes to Jaffna and says that he needs one to two years to implement what is already in the Constitution. There is no progress in the land release and prisoner release so far. We gave him that allowance. We gave our support to resolve it.
Now, that is not being done. We knew and we had our own suspicions. Nevertheless, we are not to be blamed as we co-operated and now we are proved right that he is not able to, or he is not willing to do it,” he added.
Sumanthiran noted that the TNA will adopt their own course of action and said that it would be decided in the upcoming days.
“Wickremesinghe said that he will resolve the whole thing by 4 February. When we met on 13 December 2022, at the all party conference, everybody agreed that what is in the Constitution can be implemented immediately.
When everyone had agreed on that, still if he comes and says that he needs one to two years, that is why I said it is absurd,” he added.
On 10 January, noting that there was no progress at the meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat between the Tamil political parties and the Government representatives including President Wickremesinghe, the TNA noted that a timeframe of one week has been provided to the Government to examine the issues relating to missing persons and the release of PTA prisoners and lands in the North, depending on the reply, they would decide on whether or not to meet again for discussions.
Addressing the media on the same day, Sumanthiran said that his Party will not be meeting Government representatives from 11-13 January to discuss devolution related matters as decided earlier since there had been no progress on the above mentioned issues.
On 14 December, President Wickremesinghe, during the all party conference, stated that he will hold discussions with Opposition and Samagi Jana Balawegaya Leader Sajith Premadasa in January 2023, with regard to the report on Constitutional reforms submitted by a committee led by President’s Counsel Romesh De Silva.