Military officer gets key peace secretariat post
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 May 2004, 13:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday appointed Brigadier Sanath Karunaratna, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Sri Lanka army's 51 Division in Jaffna as the Director of Operations of the government peace secretariat, the institution in charge of handling Colombo's negotiations with the Liberation Tigers. Brig. Karunaratna served as the SLA spokesman from 23 June 2000 to 15 January 2003.
The Sri Lanka government peace secretariat functions directly under the President.
Tamil political analysts said the appointment of Brigadier Karunaratna as director operations was a significant development.
President Kumaratunga named Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala as the head of the Sri Lankan government peace secretariat as soon as the Tigers indicated through Norway that they were very keen to resume peace talks early.
The senior career diplomat would be vested with wide ranging powers, informed sources in Colombo said.