SL President committed to peace despite Batticaloa fears - Dhanapala
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 July 2004, 12:54 GMT]
The delay in restarting peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers is due the preparation of the agenda, said Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, chairman of the GOSL peace secretariat, speaking to journalists at the conclusion of his visit to Batticaloa Friday. Speaking in Sinhala, he said the situation in the east is bad after Karuna split from the LTTE and that there is a concern that this could adversely affect the peace. President Kumaratunga, however, remains committed to taking forward the peace process, Dr. Dhanapala said.
He met three journalists, including the TamilNet correspondent, after concluding meetings at the 23-3 Brigade Headquarters garrison in Batticaloa town.
The Tigers and the government are abiding by the cease fire agreement he said.
No one took up the issue of LTTE renegade commander Karuna as a major problem during his meetings with civil society and religious leaders in Batticaloa, Dr. Dhanapala claimed.
He said he was happy that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission had told him that there no complaints of cease fire violations by Sri Lankan armed forces in Batticaloa.
Dr.Dhanapala met the Bishop of Batticaloa, Rt. Rev. Kingsley Swampillai, the chief incumbent of the Hindu institution 'Ramakrishna Mission', Jeevanada Maharaj and the Government Agent for the eastern district, Mr. V. Shanmugam.
He discussed the security situation in Batticaloa with senior officers of the Sri Lanka army, Police and Special Task Force.