Balasingham to visit Vanni next week

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 11:33 GMT]
Mr. Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and political strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will visit the LTTE held region of Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, on 23rd January in a fresh effort to resume the peace process. Mr. Balasingham will assist the LTTE leader, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, during the forthcoming meeting next week between Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian Minister of International Development, and the LTTE leadership.

Mr.Anton Balasingham.Mr. Solheim, who is also the Minister in charge of Norway's peace process in Sri Lanka, during his visit to the island, will meet President Mahinda Rajapakse and other Sri Lankan leaders as well as the Tamil Tiger leadership.

Mr. Solheim will be seeking to persuade the parties in conflict to bring an end to the escalating violence that has seriously undermined the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement.

Having already expressed serious concern over the rising tide of violence, the Norwegian peace envoy will seek a compromise between the protagonists on the contentious issue of the venue for the immediate resumption of talks on stabilizing the ceasefire.

When contacted by TamilNet Tuesday at his London residence, Mr. Balasingham confirmed his visit to Sri Lanka next week.

"What is of critical importance at this crucial juncture, is to try and bring an end to the brutal violence perpetrated against innocent Tamil civilians and create a congenial environment conducive for positive engagement," Mr. Balasingham said.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told TamilNet Tuesday that the Sri Lankan Government had assured the Norwegian government of Mr. Balasingham's security during his visit to Vanni.


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