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Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland calls on Opposition Leader Sampanthan

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Commonwealth Secretary - General Patricia Scotland paid a courtesy call on the Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance Sampanthan and held talks. The meeting took place at the office of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament on Friday, August 3rd.

During the discussion, Sampanthan urged that the International community including the Commonwealth has a role to play in achieving harmony amongst the people.

He said: "People had a great deal of hope with the change of Government particularly the minorities. They expected the government to deliver on the promises it made both locally and internationally. A new Constitution which will alter the structure of the governance and give more powers to the regions, ascertainment of truth and justice, reparation, dealing with missing persons, return of civilians lands occupied by the armed forces, release of people held in custody under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act are some of those promises but the delivery on these matters has been slow and inadequate.

A unanimous resolution was adopted in Parliament in this regard, but on account of political factors there is a delay on the part of the Government in pursuing this matter.

There were reasons why this country faced a war, one cannot address these reasons by not being firm. One cannot abandon these issues being addressed because of extreme elements. The Government must take a firm stand and lead the country in the right direction. Adopting a new Constitution will be a big step in taking the country forward."

The Secretary-General briefed the Opposition Leader on the continuous support provided by the Commonwealth to Sri Lanka to promote Democracy, Rule of Law, Good Governance and Environmental related issues and said that the Commonwealth will continue to support the new Constitution making processes. Further, the Secretary-General appreciated Sampanthan for his moderation and for being an ambassador for peace.

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