In their first meeting after the military defeat of the Tigers, representatives of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have told President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the alliance was ready to work with the government to achieve peace and prosperity.

The government said seven members of the TNA met Mr. Rajapaksa to discuss issues facing the country, particularly matters concerning the Internally Displaced Persons in the north and national reconciliation.

“President Rajapaksa informed the TNA representatives that the government had given the highest priority to the early resettlement of the IDPs, and to this end it has taken action to expedite the de-mining process, and that emphasis had been given in government policy on the need to ensure the security and welfare of the people,” said a government statement.

During the three-hour meeting, the President told the TNA delegation that the policies of the government would lead to the resettlement of the IDPs soon, give way for the TNA and all political parties to carry on their democratic activities freely, and that there would be no opportunity for the LTTE or any other terrorist organisation to sacrifice the people for their sectarian goals.

The TNA delegation was of the view that the discussion would be an initial step and that action should be taken to establish trust among peoples with further discussions.

Disappointed: UNICEF

Meanwhile, UNICEF on Tuesday said it was extremely concerned and disappointed with the Sri Lankan government’s decision to expel its chief of communications, James Elder.

Meanwhile, there were signals from Colombo that it could review the decision to expel Mr. Elder.

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