Sri Lankan Tamil party calls on new government to share power, resolve ethnic conflict

Sri Lanka's main ethnic Tamil political party has called on the new government to resolve the country's longstanding ethnic conflict, which led to a quarter-century civil war.

The leader of the Tamil National Alliance, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, told Parliament on Tuesday that the failure to resolve the issue has caused many of the nation's ills. It was Parliament's first session since President Maithripala Sirisena won election on Jan. 8.

The previous president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, led a military campaign to crush Tamil Tiger rebels who fought to create an independent state for Tamils. Rajapaksa, who like Sirisena is ethnic Sinhalese, never fulfilled a promise to share political power with Tamils in the country's north and east.

The Tamil alliance supported Sirisena in the election.