The high-level meeting that scheduled to be held between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been postponed for the third time.
TNA spokesperson MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that the meeting that was to be held on March 15 has been postponed to March 25.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is yet to hold any official meeting with the TNA after assuming office in 2019. Even though meetings had been scheduled two times before, they were cancelled at the last moment.
“The President has agreed to hold discussions with TNA MPs led by R. Sampanthan, on March 15. It was informed that these discussions will be held at the Presidential Secretariat," Sumanthiran had said earlier.
According to the TNA lawmaker, the President had only fixed a date for this meeting which had been cancelled two times at the last-minute following a protest held opposite the Presidential Secretariat.
The TNA had been expecting to discuss about a political solution to the national question, the new constitution being drafted by the government and development activities in the North and East.
The meeting has been postponed this time, following a decision taken by the Sri Lankan government to reject the ongoing demand of the war affected Tamil people victimized for truth and justice.
It was also announced on the same day that the Cabinet had decided to pay Rs. 100,000 each to Tamil mothers, ignoring their repeated requests to reveal the fate of their relatives who had been forcibly disappeared.
“The Cabinet has approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice to pay a one-time lump sum allowance of Sri Lankan Rs. 100,000 for rehabilitation of the family, to the next of kin of the disappeared person, who has a 'Certificate of Absence' issued by the Registrar General on the basis of the findings of the Office of the Missing Persons,” the government said announcing its cabinet decisions.
Even though two years have passed since TNA leader R. Sampanthan wrote to the President urging the government to stop forcibly seizing land owned by Tamils in the North and East where the majority are Tamils, a reply is still awaited.
About 15 parliamentary representatives of the Tamil people in the North, East and Colombo staged a protest in front of the Presidential Secretariat, after a failed attempt to meet the President on February 24.
Sri Lanka’s head of the state was accused of being the 'President of only the 'Sinhala-Buddhists that day due to avoiding the burning issues of the Tamil people with their official representatives.
"Clearly, the President has tried to reaffirm today that he is the President of only Sinhalese and Buddhist people in Sri Lanka,” Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) Batticaloa District MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam said.