SLMM head to meet LTTE leadership Saturday

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 February 2004, 18:11 GMT]
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Major General (retd.) Trond Furuhovde, is to visit Kilinochchi Saturday to meet the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan. This will be his first visit to Kilinochchi after he assumed office for the second time on February 1, SLMM sources said.

The talks between the SLMM head and Mr.Thamilchelvan would center on maintaining the ceasefire now holding without any interruption during the election period and also to discuss arrangements regarding voters in the LTTE- held areas to exercise their franchise without any difficulties at the forthcoming general election, sources said.

Talks are expected to commence between SLMM chief and Mr.Thamilchelvan at the Kilinochchi peace secretariat Saturday morning around 11 a.m., SLMM sources said.

The Saturday's meeting of General Furuhovde with the LTTE leadership comes in the wake of his visits to Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya, where he held talks with Sri Lanka government officials, armed forces, police and local leaders of the LTTE regarding the ground situation. In these visits, he also discussed the difficulties the parties concerned have been undergoing in implementing the ceasefire agreement, sources said.

General Furuhovde was the first head of the SLMM soon after the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE on February 22, 2002. Major General Triggve Teleffsen succeeded when he relinquished his post, sources said.

He replaced Teleffsen on February 1 this year when the latter was called back by the Norwegian government at the request of Sri Lanka's President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, who charged that Teleffsen had shown partiality toward the LTTE in an incident at sea between the Sri Lanka Navy and the LTTE, sources said.


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