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Canadian Ambassador meets Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 September 2004, 10:43 GMT]
Ambassador of Canada in Colombo, Valerie Raymond met with Head of the LTTE Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan in the LTTE Peace Secretariat building in Kilinochchi Monday, sources from Vanni said. The discussions centered on the peace process and the urgency of both parties, the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to show flexibility to resume the stalled peace talks.

Canadian Ambassador Ms. Valerie Raymond meets with the LTTE Political Head Mr S.P. Thamilchelvan

Real Audio Icon Press briefing by Ms Valerie Raymond (English)
Real Audio Icon Press briefing by Mr S. P. Thamilchelvan (Tamil)
"We explained clearly to the Ambassador the diffculties that we are facing because of the delay in restarting the peace process. We also told her that the peace talks should be restarted soon with the clear objective of finding a solution to the aspirations of the Tamil people. We conveyed to the Ambassador the determination and the understanding of our leadership on this matter," said Thamilchelvan speaking to the reporters.

Responding to a question on attempts by elements opposed to the "Pongu Thamil" event to pressure the Government of Canada to ban the event, Thamilchelvan said that as a democratic country Canada which respects freedom of speech is unlikely to interfere with peaceful events organized by its citizens.

Canadian Ambassador Ms. Valerie Raymond meets with the LTTE Political Head Mr S.P. Thamilchelvan

Ms.Raymond, speaking to the reporters at the end of the discussions said, "We had frank and constructive discussions today. I expressed on behalf of the Government of Canada our strong support for the Norwegian facilitated peace process and the concern of the Government of Canada that the process remains stalled and that it has been almost eighteen months since there have been any talks. I encourage Mr.Thamilchelvan and the LTTE to return to the peace table as soon as possible and to show flexibility with regard to the peace negotiations.

"I also expressed Government of Canada's very grave concern with the deteriorating security situation and the continued political killings which are hugely destablilizing the peace process and the continued issue of child recruitment.

"I urge the LTTE to fully respect the Ceasefire Agreement to promote and respect for human rights and end practice of child recruitment."

Meanwhile, a Press Release issued by the Canadian Embassy in Colombo also urged the Government of Sri Lanka to "continue its efforts to forge a consensus, within the Government UPFA coalition, to resume the talks as soon as possible." The Press Release also urged the Government of Sri Lanka to "seek bipartisan support for advancement of the peace process".

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