Senior members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), an amalgam of Tamil political parties currently in power in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on August 23.
A five-member delegation led by TNA leader and senior politician R. Sampanthan will leave for New Delhi on Thursday, sources said.
The TNA, which swept the historic Northern Provincial polls in September last year, has since been urging Colombo to devolve more powers to the provinces, as envisaged in the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.
At its first meeting with Mr. Modi, the TNA is likely to discuss a host of issues, including New Delhi’s role in urging Colombo to devolve more powers to the Northern Province and militarisation of the Northern Province.
To meet Swaraj
The TNA delegation is also scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. After the visit, the TNA is likely to follow up on its earlier request for a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, TNA sources told The Hindu.
Ever since the TNA assumed charge at the Northern Provincial Council, the question of devolving more powers to the provinces has been in focus, with the alliance alleging that much of the power remained with the Governor of the Province, appointed by the President.
India has been advocating early resumption of talks between the Sri Lankan government and the TNA. While the Sri Lankan government points to the TNA’s unwillingness to be part of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) it had set up for the purpose, the TNA appears to have little hope in the PSC, whose members are constituents of the ruling coalition. (The Hindu)