By Henry Sathananthan from Australia
Twenty one of us went to Colombo to get help for our refugees (IDPs) in the North by invitation of the foreign minister, the Hon. Mr. Bogalagama. This was the first time a foreign minister invited the Tamil Diaspora for direct talks in a 2 day conference organized in Colombo, for which we are very thankful. The Government listened to us, one to one, each with diverse opinions and we initiated a constructive dialogue. This should have been done a long time ago and would have saved thousands of lives. We opened the door for further negotiation for anyone who wants to go and we will facilitate this to the best of our ability. The talks were cordial and various matters were discussed including the rehabilitation of the IDPs, devolution, discrimination of Tamils by successive governments, safety of the people in the war zone, resettlement, medical aid etc., focussing on the immediate future of the Tamils.