Must for us to talk to Muslims - Thamilchelvan
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 October 2003, 12:22 GMT]
“It is a must that we talk to the Muslim ‘side’ after we give the Sri Lankan government our proposal on the Interim Administration (IA) for the Northeast. I can say that Muslims will have their rightful place in it. The aspirations of all the communities in the northeast find expression in our proposals”, said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, the head of the LTTE’s political division, emerging from a meeting Tuesday with a delegation of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress in Kilinochchi.
Answering questions about reports in the Colombo press about the contents of the LTTE’s IA proposal, Mr. Thamilchelvan said: “They are only engaging in guesswork. Wait until we give the proposal to the Sri Lankan government on the evening of 31 October. The next day we will be meeting you (the press) to provide you with the details. So I ask you to please wait until then”.
Asked about who would be the chief spokesman of the LTTE of talks were to start again, Mr. Thamilchelvan said Mr. Balasingham might be taking the role as before if his health were to improve. “But it will be according to the decision of the leadership”, he emphasised.
Mr. Thamilchelvan said he did not want to comment on the Sri Lankan President’s demand that the SLMM chief should be withdrawn, as it concerns a sensitive issue in the peace process.
Meanwhile, Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, the leader of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress told journalists after discussions with Mr. Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi Tuesday that his party expressed its full support for the LTTE’s IA proposals.
Asked whether the CWC would exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to implement the proposal, Mr. Thondaman retorted: “ Why do you want to talk about it now. Let them (LTTE) give the proposals to the government”.
He said the CWC does not want to confuse the question of the hill country Tamils with that of the Tamils in the northeast.
Mr. Thondaman was accompanied by the Deputy leader of the party, Mr. M. S Sellasamy, Mr. R. Yogarajan MP, Mr. Muttu Sivalingam MP deputy minister and Mr. S Jegatheeswaran, ex. MP.