Jaffna civil groups brief Norwegian peace envoy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 September 2004, 10:21 GMT]
Jaffna civil groups and non-governmental organizations Wednesday handed over memoranda to the Norwegian special peace envoy Mr. Eric Solheim detailing the sufferings of Tamil people, especially hundreds of thousands of internally displaced families now staying in welfare centres unable to return to their houses and agricultural lands which are currently occupied by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the SLA demarked high security zones, sources said.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations and other humanitarian agencies in Jaffna district briefed the visiting Norwegian peace envoy at a discussion held Wednesday afternoon at the office NGOs Consortium of the difficulties the Tamil people of the district currently facing even after more than thirty months since the signing of the ceasefire agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Civil society leaders told Mr.Solheim in detail that the benefits of the ceasefire and current "no war, no peace" climate in Sri Lanka are enjoyed by the people of the other provinces in the south and not by the people of northeast province.

Jaffna District Agricultural and Consumer Co-operative Societies Union in a memorandum handed over to Mr.Solheim pointed out that the decision of the Norwegian government to grant an amount of 30 million US$ to Sri Lankan government to implement the Development Programme for 2005 would have a negative impact on the current peace process. The memorandum reminded Mr.Solheim that Norwegian government's decision goes against its mediator role in the Sri Lankan crisis.


Solheim in Jaffna


The Union appealed to Mr.Solheim to take steps to stop any financial assistance by Norwegian government to GOSL until the ethnic conflict is resolved permanently through negotiation.

The Confederation of Jaffna District Public Organisations in a memorandum handed over to Mr.Solheim warned that any financial assistance to the GOSL by foreign governments would pave way for another war in the island. The memorandum further stated that normal life has not been restored in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tamil people in the northeast even after more than thirty months have gone since the signing of the ceasefire agreement.

 

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