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LTTE ready to resume talks based on ISGA- Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 May 2004, 09:47 GMT]
Ambassador for Norway in Colombo, Mr. Hans Brattskar, Norway's special peace envoy, Mr. Eric Solheim, and Second Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, Ms. Kjersti Thomsdal, met with Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of the LTTE Political Wing at the LTTE Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi. The talks, started at 10.45 a.m. lasted for more than two hours and focused on the resumption of stalled peace talks and about preparing the agenda for the talks between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), sources in Vanni said.

Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE
Liberation Tigers are fully prepared to resume negotiations on the same principles and in the same atmosphere the peace talks were carried out under the previous government in Colombo, Mr. Thamilchelvan said, speaking to journalists after meeting with the Norwegian delegation Monday.

Responding to a question on how soon the negotiations would resume, Mr. Thamilchelvan said that talks can begin when the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) says it is ready.

Pointing out that the talks were stalled due to the political changes in Colombo last November following the submission of the draft proposals for Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), he emphasized that LTTE is prepared to continue the talks based on the concepts and principles embodied in the ISGA.

He added that more than 90% of the Tamil people in North East have endorsed this stand by giving an overwhelming mandate in the last elections.

The LTTE has conveyed its stand to the GoSL through the Norwegian delegation, he said.

Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE
Responding to another question whether there is a big gap between the positions taken by the GoSL and the LTTE on the resumption of peace negotiations as reported by some Colombo media, Mr. Thamilchelvan said that LTTE has received satisfactory signals through the Norwegian facilitators and stated that Sri Lanka's President and the Sri Lanka Government have promised their commitment to the MoU.

Thamilchelvan added that there cannot be any pre-conditions attached to resuming the talks.

Responding to a question about the role of the Norwegian facilitation, he said that Norway would continue to play the same facilitatory role as before.

Thamilchelvan said that GoSL should stop the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) from giving continued support to Karuna and his men who are behind the recent violent incidents in Batticaloa. Failing to do so will have far reaching consequences, he warned.

Meanwhile, the LTTE peace secretariat said on its website Monday that Mr. Solheim informed Mr. Thamilchelvan the views of Sri Lanka's President, that she was fully committed to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and was "conscious of the political reality vis-a-vis the Tamil mandate in the general election."

Mr. Thamilchelvan told the Norwegian team that Norway's role was "vital" and "it should continue," and expressed his concerns over the recent killings of several LTTE cadres near the Vavunathivu camp of the Sri Lanka Army, which the LTTE has alleged was done with SLA complicity and violated the CFA.

According to the website, Mr. Thamilchelvan also told Mr. Solheim that the President and her team should work hard to dispel any suspicions they might have about the "LTTE's intentions [commitment to the peace talks]."

On the issue of the renegade 'Karuna group,' Mr. Thamilchelvan pointed out to Mr. Solheim that Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan ('Karuna') was now a 'fugitive,' having committed "murders, immoral acts" and having indulged in "fraudulent practices," and therefore if the GoSL or the SLA harbored any Karuna group members, "it would jeopardize the peace process."

Mr. Solheim is expected to convey the LTTE's views to the President.

Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE
Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE


Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE



Norwegian peace facilitators meet the LTTE


 

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