2ND LEAD (UPDATE)
Geneva Talks II begins
[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 October 2006, 10:37 GMT]
"Developments in Sri Lanka in the past months have seriously endangered the peace process," said Switzerland Foreign Affairs Deputy Head Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini who gave the opening address wishing the facilitator and the Parties better understanding, in Geneva Saturday. Stressing the need for "confidence in the Norwegian Government as facilitator seeking ways to lead the delegations to a better mutual understanding, confidence in the other Party as a partner with whom one can engage," Ms. Heidi Tagliavini said the International Community the recent developments in Sri Lanka have caused considerable concern within the International Community.
"Switzerland, as the depositary State of the Geneva Conventions, feels it cannot forgo its responsibility to remind the parties to the conflict of their obligations to respect International Humanitarian Law, in particular to protect civilians from the effects of armed conflict," added the deputy head of the Political Affairs Directorate, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs at the Conference Center Varembé.
"The confidence in one's own ability to discuss, to propose solutions and exchange one's own perspective is important to the success," she added.
Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim said the agenda for talks was three fold: Humanitarian Issues, the Ceasefire Agreement concerning the military situation on the ground and issues concerning the Political resolution.
Head of Sri Lankan delegation, SL Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva shook hands with Head of LTTE's delegation, S. P. Thamilchelvan and the talks began around 10:00 a.m. European time.
Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the Norwegian Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, led the parties to negotiation table.
[L-R] Vidar Helgesen, Hans Brattskar, Heidi Tagliavini, Erik Solheim and Jon Hanssen-Bauer
Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo Hans Brattskar, former Norwegian State Secretary Vidar Helgesen and officials of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission also joined the facilitators.
Head of Tamileelam Police, B. Nadesan, LTTE Military Spokesman Irasaiah Ilanthirayan, Director of LTTE Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan, Deputy Head LTTE Women's Political Section Thamilvili, Translator Mr. George, New York based Legal Advisor to the LTTE, V. Rudrakumaran, and Dr. Manuelpillai Paul Dominic comprised the 8 Member LTTE delegation for talks.
Sri Lankan Ministers Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Rohitha Bogollagama, Ferial Ashraff, Secretary General of Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat Dr. Palitha Kohone, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandra Fernando and the two lawyers who appeared counselors for the JVP petition that led to the recent ruling by Sri Lanka Supreme court on NorthEast de-merger, Gomin Dayasiri and H.L.de Silva comprlsed the Sri Lankan delegation.