Cushnahan clarifies discussion with Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 13 February 2004, 00:01 GMT]
Mr. John Walls Cushnahan, Member of the European Parliament, clarified to TamilNet Wednesday details regarding his discussion with Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, political leader of the Liberation Tigers, when he met him on February 6, 2004. “I said that I fully understood the dangers of their [LTTE’s] supporters becoming disillusioned with the peace process if it was not perceived to be delivering improvements to the quality of life in the North East and in this regard I appreciated the difficulties caused by the current political stalemate [in Colombo],” Mr. Cushnahan said in his clarification.

The following is the full text of his clarification:

“I would like to take the opportunity to clarify exactly what I discussed with the LTTE delegation.

“I said that I fully understood the dangers of their [LTTE’s] supporters becoming disillusioned with the peace process if it was not perceived to be delivering improvements to the quality of life in the North East and in this regard I appreciated the difficulties caused by the current political stalemate.

“In response to their proposal for the establishment of a funding mechanism for the North East I offered the opinion that if this was to be given serious consideration by the donor countries, it would have to meet a number of criteria.

“Firstly any such structure would have to be temporary.

“Secondly, the funding requirements would have to be set out in detail.

“Thirdly, it would have to include independent representatives agreed by the main donor countries to ensure transparency and accountability.

“Fourthly, it would have to be accompanied by clear proof that the abduction of child soldiers had ceased to assure donor countries that funding would not be used for military purposes.

“I considered the meeting to be very worthwhile and I sent a report on the discussions to Commissioner Patten along with my comments as outlined above."

John Cushnahan was the EU Chief Observer for the Sri Lanka General Elections on two occasions.

Mr. Cushnahan hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has been a Member of the European Parliament where he represents a constituency in the Republic of Ireland, since June 1989. He is a member of the European People's Party, serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is also on the European Parliament/South Asia (SAARC) Delegation.


External Links:
LTTE: EU determines to grant continued support to NorthEast development

 

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