LTTE meets Swiss Foreign Ministry Official in Geneva

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 13:17 GMT]
The Deputy Head of the Political Section of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna District, Mr. S. Ilamparithi, who is currently visiting European cities, met with Swiss Foreign Ministry Director in-charge of Sri Lanka Affairs, Mr. Markus Heiniger, on Wednesday at 1.00 pm for 90 minutes, at the Swiss Foreign Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Tamil expatriate sources in Switzerland said.

Mr. Ilamparuthy with Swiss Foreign Ministry official Markus Heiniger
Mr. Ilamparithi with Swiss Foreign Ministry official Markus Heiniger.
The Head of LTTE's Swiss Office, Mr.Kulam and LTTE's Head of Swiss Political Section, Mr.Anton, participated in the meeting with Mr.Ilamaparithi, the sources said.

"The Leader of LTTE, Mr.V. Pirapaharan, and the Liberation Tigers are fully committed to reaching a just and sustainable solution through negotiations with the Sri Lanka Government. However, although 21 months have passed since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) have not fully vacated the temples and Schools in the NorthEast," Mr. Ilamaparithi told Mr.Heiniger.

"Tamil people have not benefited from the peace process. They have not received adequate resettlement assistance nor have they benefited from promises of rehabilitation. The SLA's expansive High Security Zones (HSZ) have prevented more than 100,000 people from resettling in their own homes. Many are still languishing in refugee centers or living in their relatives houses. Jaffna peninsula is virtually under a military occupation and the civilians live in constant fear of harassment," added Mr. Ilamparithi, according to the sources.

Mr. Ilamparithi requested Mr.Heiniger to impress upon the Swiss Government to consider providing humanitarian assistance to the people of he NorthEast who have lost their means of livelihood.

When Mr.Heiniger inquired about the situation of the Muslim people, Mr.Ilamaparithi said, "a section of the displaced Muslim people are resettling. Others who are keen on resettling in their former residences, LTTE is providing assistance within the limited resources available to the LTTE. The now defunct SIHRN reflects the seriousness on the lack of resources for rehabilitation."

Mr. Ilamparuthy with Swiss Foreign Ministry official Markus Heiniger
(L-R) Mr. Markus Heiniger, Mr. Ilamparithi and Mr. Kulam.


Discussion the human rights situation in NorthEast, Ilamparithi told Mr.Heiniger that fishermen, farmers and other low-paid workers undergo constant harassment from security forces. "Tamil public face language difficulties in making complaints as Sinhala police officers deployed for duty in Tamil speaking areas are not proficient in Tamil. Also, the question of Tamil civilians who disappeared after arrest by the SLA has not been fully investigated yet and the perpetrators have not been brought to justice," the sources quoted Mr. Ilamparithi as saying.

According to the sources, Mr.Heiniger said that the Swiss Government was keen to provide support for Humanitarian needs and welcomed the LTTE's committment to the peace process.

 

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