UNF to bow out of Peace Process?

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 November 2003, 12:53 GMT]
"The government believes it is not possible to deal with the peace process unless only one party is in charge. Full control over the peace process by one party is necessary if the peace process is to be effectively managed," said Prof. G. L. Peiris, the Leader of the Sri Lanka Government delegation to the Peace Negotiations with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in press briefing Sunday.

"There must be coherence. If he [Prime Minister] does not control defence, the interior and the media, it is not possible for the prime minister to accept responsibility for the [Peace] process," Mr. Peiris added.

Mr. Peiris said that the Prime Minister is in the process of informing the diplomats of Norway, Japan, US and European Union that in the current political climate he will find it difficult to take forward the peace process and that he is willing to transfer the responsibility to Sri Lanka's President Ms. Kumaratunge.

Mr. Peiris confirmed that the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen and the Norwegian special envoy Mr. Erik Solheim will be arriving Colombo tomorrow as planned.

Political sources in Colombo said that the move appears to be a political manoeuvre, made while peace talks are stalled and the Interim Self-Government Authority (ISGA) proposals from LTTE are pending.

Sources added that Ms.Kumaratunge will find it difficult to constructively engage the LTTE which has consistently accused her as unreliable, and of showing pathological hatred and bitterness towards the LTTE.


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