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‘Talks announcement in a day or two’ – Balasingham
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 May 2004, 06:53 GMT]
Mr. Anton Balasingham, political advisor to the Liberation Tigers, said Thursday that the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka have agreed on most of the fundamental issues related to the resumption of peace talks. Speaking to journalists at the conclusion of a two-hour discussion with Mr. Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Balasingham said the LTTE and Colombo would reach a decision in “a day or two” on the time and place for restarting the peace talks. He said Norway would make an announcement about the consensus reached by the two parties in “one or two days”.
“President Chandrika is showing very keen interest to somehow restart negotiations with the Tigers. We discussed the fundamental issues relating to the resumption of the talks. We were satisfied with the manner in which majority of these issues were resolved. The preliminary efforts and arrangements to restart the negotiations are very satisfactory. However, I must say that no definite decisions were reached on all issues. And I cannot reveal the details of these. There are some practical problems to be sorted out over when and where to hold the talks. The Norwegian government will make an official announcement regarding the basic agreements we have reached regarding the resumptions of the talks in a day or two”, Mr. Balasingham said.
He said that the LTTE has stated that ministers with greater powers should take part in the talks. He ruled out the possibility of the negotiations starting this month.
Responding to a question regarding the participation of Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, in the talks, he said: “The Sri Lankan government knows our position regarding him. I have nothing to comment on the matter”.