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TNA calls for peace talks

All Members of Parliament elected under the name and symbol of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi (TNA) and constituting the Tamil National Alliance yesterday urged that steps be taken to commence negotiations with the LTTE.

In a news release issued yesterday, the TNA MPs said talks should begin on the basis of the proposals submitted by the LTTE on October 31, 2003.

"In view of speculative reports in the media, all Members of Parliament elected from the North-East region in the name of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi emphatically state that we are unequivocally and irrevocably committed to the political aspirations of the Tamil people," the TNA statement said.

It states the Tamil people have for over the past 55 years struggled to achieve substantial autonomy and self-rule in the North-East.

The failure on the part of the Sri Lankan State to resolve the Tamil National Question in a just and acceptable manner, resulted in the demand for total sovereignty and a separate state.

The Tamil National Alliance contested the said Parliamentary Elections under the name and symbol of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi on the firm policy that an Interim Self Governing Authority with substantial powers of governance should be constituted for the North-Easter region at the earliest.

The said policy enunciated that it is imperative that the hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil Civilians should be resettled in their homes in the North-East, and rehabilitated, that the devastated North-East, should be rebuilt and reconstructed and that normality should return to the lives of the people in the North-East.

Normalcy has not returned to the lives of the Tamil people in the North-East, though more than two years have lapsed since the ceasefire agreement and the stoppage of the war. This objective is achievable only through the setting up of an interim self governing authority for the North-East with substantial powers of governance, the TNA members said.

All Members of Parliament so elected commit ourselves wholeheartedly on the basis of the unequivocal mandate received from the people of the North-East, at the last General Election, to unitedly and in unison strive both within Parliament and outside, particularly to muster the support of the international community to ensure that negotiations commence with the LTTE and that such an Interim Self Governing Authority is set up for the North-East at the earliest.

"We strongly submit that the agony and anguish of the Tamil people cannot continue and that there is an imperative need to bring the same to an end without further delay."

We remain committed to ensure that any interim or final solution addresses the concerns of our Tamil-speaking Muslim brethren in the North-East in a manner acceptable to them and that no injustice is done to any people living in the North-East, it said.

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