2nd Lead (Corrections)

Northeast Muslim parliamentarians brief Akashi

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 September 2003, 11:20 GMT]
The North East Muslim Parliamentarians' Association (NEMPA)Saturday told the Japanese special peace envoy Mr.Yasushi Akashi that it would not send its representatives to participate in the future peace talks until the Sri Lanka Government includes participation of Muslims as a separate group, its general secretary M.L.A.M.Hisbullah said according to media sources.

The delegation of the North East Muslim Parliamentarians' Association met Mr.Yasushi Akashi Saturday night and held about three hour discussion regarding the Muslims' stand on the present peace process.

Currently Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakim has been participating in the peace talks as a representative of the Government of SriLanka. The SLMC is a constituent of the United National Front (UNF) government.

NEMPA comprises Muslim parliamentarians of all political parties, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, National Unity Alliance and the United National Party (UNP), sources said.

The delegation submitted its views on the proposed interim administrative structure for the northeast province, and the problems confronting the Muslims in the east in the spheres of security, employment and business opportunities, sources said.

The delegation told Mr. Akashi that no useful purpose would be served unless Muslim representation at the peace talks is allowed as a separate group, sources said.

Mr. Akashi is reported to have assured the NEMPA delegation that he would talk to the leaders of the UNF government and the LTTE regarding their request, sources said


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