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'Lanka not serious towards political settlement'

world Updated: Feb 25, 2009 13:33 IST

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Even as Sri Lanka has virtually wiped out the LTTE in the north, an influential US lawmaker accused Colombo of not being serious in addressing the issues of the Tamilians and arriving at a political settlement.

"So far, there are few indications that a political deal is imminent. Sri Lanka will not negotiate directly with the LTTE. But it does not appear as though the government has much interest in finding alternative Tamil interlocutors nor have the Tamils presented a credible alternative to the LTTE," Senator Bob Casey said on Tuesday.

Casey, who is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, was speaking at a hearing on the recent developments in Sri Lanka.

He said while the government "frames its war against the LTTE as a war against terror, there exists a broader ethnic conflict between the minority Tamils and majority Sinhalese that has spanned for decades".

"Should the war end and the broader Tamil population continue to face systematic discrimination by and inadequate representation in the Sri Lankan national government, the Tamil Tigers could once again be driven underground to carry out acts of terrorism, perpetuating another go-around in this vicious cycle of violence," he said.