President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that initial talks have taken place with Tamil political parties on aspects of post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka although no formal proposals have been made so far by them.
He said so addressing editors of print and electronic media today at Temple Trees.
The President said that after considering proposals from all parties a mutual agreement will be made.
He added that focus is on alleged or perceived grievances of minority communities.
However, little is said or reported in the media about the amity that exists among them, he pointed out.
He said that earlier a very high percentage of Sinhalese lived in Colombo, but today it is less than 30%. ‘But, this has not led to misunderstandings and there are no complaints of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity’, he stressed.
With regard to measures taken outside of Colombo, the government has ensured the appointment of at least one Tamil speaking police officer in each police station in the North who can take down a complaint in Tamil, he pointed out.
In addition, in an increasing number of cases, the first reports to courts in the Northern areas are now filed in Tamil, he said.
‘Such measures are taken to ensure that the government responds to people’s needs, further promoting post-conflict reconciliation’.
There is increasing appreciation from abroad of the country’s post-conflict reconciliation process, stated the President.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G L Peiris joining the discussion agreed saying the European Union parliamentary group that visited Sri Lanka recently expressed their satisfaction of the post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.
He added that Western diplomats acknowledge there is no condition in Sri Lanka to seek refuge for political purposes elsewhere but refuge is sought for economic purposes.
The President said that it is difficult for a handful of Sri Lankan diplomatic staff abroad to counter various charges raised against Sri Lanka by vast organizations, individuals and other powerful entities.
He said that there is a planned attack on this country by such groups with the help of international media who do not give publicity to the positive news in Sri Lanka.