US designation "not welcome" - Tamil parties

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Tamil party leaders who met US President's special envoy Bill Richardson during a brief meeting yesterday in Colombo told him that it is essential that the Liberation Tigers should take part in the talks to bring about peace in Sri Lanka.

The US embassy had arranged for the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress Mr.S. Thondaman, his secretary Mr.N.Wijeyasingham, TULF secretary general Mr.R sampanthan and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda MP to meet the US envoy briefly to discuss the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Sampanthan had stressed that no political solution to the conflict is viable without the participation of the Liberation Tigers.

The CWC had told the US ambassador that one cannot characterise the struggle of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka historically as terrorism.

They had urged that America should take a keener interest in helping solve the conflict as a third party.

One of the Tamil party leaders who met Ambassador Bill Richardson said this morning that none of them had welcomed the US government's designation of the Liberation Tigers as terrorists.

One of them said that he had told the US envoy how historically the democratic struggles of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka had been in vain which eventually had compelled the youths to take up arms.

Sources said that Ambassador Bill Richardson had listened to the Tamil leaders but had not categorically responded to their observations except in very broad and general diplomatic terms.

 

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