"SL President bears responsibility for worsening situation"- Thamilchelvan
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 June 2005, 08:52 GMT]
"Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge has the executive power to establish the Joint Mechanism. But she is using the aid deal as an instrument to advance her fortunes in the political chess game and has created a political storm opposing the Joint Mechanism in the South. Even for today's meeting Norwegian delegation has only brought verbal assurances from Colombo. The meeting has failed to make any concrete steps towards the establishment of a Joint Mechanism," said LTTE's Head of Political Wing, S P Thamilchelvan briefing the press at the LTTE peace secretariat after meeting Mr Vidar Helgesen in Kilinochchi Wednesday.
Mr Hans Brattskar, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and two other Norwegian officials accompanied Mr Vidar Helgesen to the discussions.
Associated with Mr Thamilchelvan in the meeting with the Norwegian facilitators were Mr P Nadesan, Head of Thamileelam Police, Mr S Puleedevan, Secretary General of the LTTE peace secretariat and Ms. Selvi Karthikeyan, sources from Kilinochchi said.
"Message from Colombo contained the word "very soon" in relation to the Joint Mechanism. We cannot rely on words. The Joint Mechanism requires signatures. And more importantly it has to be implemented in the spirit in which it is written. We see no sign of this happening soon," added Mr Thamilchelvan.
"We gave a frank and detailed description of the situation on the ground to the Norwegian Delegation and explained to them that Cease Fire Agreement is under serious strain. We told the delegation that Tamil people have lost faith in the peace process and the situation is explosive in Tamil areas," Thamilchelvan told the press.
On the question of Muslim representation, Thamilchelvan said, "We are firmly committed to ensuring that Muslim people be represented in the post-tsunami reconstruction structures in consistent with the destruction the Muslim community suffered in the tsunami. We are unable to send any message to the Muslim community as we cannot fully rely on Ms Kumaratunge's assurances on the aid deal. Our committment to ensure a fair and acceptable representation of Muslims in the tsunami administrative structure remains firm once the deal is signed. This has been our position from the very beginning."
Mr Helgesen talking to the press said that discussions centered on finding ways to move forward and that he will be able to make public statements after he goes back to Colombo. Although the parties have not signed the Joint Mechanism, he is confident that the parties are moving forward, Mr Helgesen said
"What is essential today is to salvage the peace process which is being threatened seriously by cease-fire violations, for the CFA is the key to the entire peace process and if that is hijacked by scheming elements, then there is no useful purpose in the Joint Mechanism or any mechanism for that matter," Mr Thamilchelvan was quoted by LTTE Peace Secretariat as saying to Mr. Vidar Helgesen.