2nd lead, adds quotes

LTTE in discussions with Norway on SLMM - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 June 2006, 12:58 GMT]
The LTTE delegation in Oslo is involved in discussions with the Norwegian facilitators on key issues, including the role of international truce monitors, the head of the LTTE's Political Wing, S. P. Thamilchelvan said Thursday. Responding to media reports that the LTTE was refusing to sit with the Sri Lankan government (GoSL) delegation, Mr. Thamilchelvan said "discussions on the monitors at this crucial juncture would be productive and progressive when the [LTTE and government] delegations raise the issues separately with the Norwegian facilitators, giving room for them to devise approaches to resolve these issues."

The LTTE’s delegation was invited by Norway to Oslo to discuss the role of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the security of SLMM staff and the future engagement of the SLMM in a post EU-ban scenario, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

S.P.Thamilchelvan
“Discussions on SLMM, at this crucial juncture, would be productive and progressive when the delegations raise the issues separately with the Norwegian facilitators, giving room for the facilitators to work out an agenda and let them approach the issue progressively,” Mr. Thamilchelvan further said.

“The GoSL delegation has the freedom to exercise the same procedure without insisting the LTTE meets directly with them over these issues,” the LTTE's Political Head noted.

The LTTE delegation would be meeting the International Development Minister Erik Solheim Thursday evening to discuss the process forward, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

The LTTE delegation has already met the Norwegian facilitators twice on Thursday, he said.

Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hans Brattskar and the former State Secretary Vidar Helgesen represented the Norwegian facilitators.

LTTE officials with the delegation in Oslo pointed out to Tamil correspondents that the terms of the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the makeup, mandate and role of the SLMM had been agreed in early 2002 by indirect, Norwegian-facilitated negotiations between LTTE and GoSL.

Meanwhile, in an interview to the Sudar Oli newspaper Wednesday, Mr. Thamilchelvan pointed out that the Sri Lankan government’s delegation in Oslo did not include any ministers or political representatives authorised to strike a deal with the LTTE.

The GoSL delegation is led by an official, Dr Palitha Kohona, Director General of the Government Peace Secretariat.

“We do not intend to conduct talks with such a delegation. At any rate, we do not have the sanction of our leadership to do so,” Thamilchelvan said.

 

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