Delegation to Vanni - Colombo weekly

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sunday Lankadeepa, the Sinhala weekly with the largest circulation in Sri Lanka, which hit the news stands this afternoon said in its page one lead story that a delegation will soon leave to the Vanni from Colombo to persuade the leader of the Liberation Tigers to let his organisation contest the forthcoming local government elections in Jaffna.

The paper said that the delegation comprises members of some NGOs and foreign nationals. It did not, however, reveal any names.

The delegation will meet with the Sri Lankan President and the Deputy Minister for Defence General Anurudhdha Ratwatte before it leaves Colombo, says the Lankadeepa.

This, according to the paper, is to ensure the safety of LTTE candidates in the event of the Tiger leadership agreeing to the delegation's proposal.

The Sunday Lankadeepa claims that many foreign governments have come forward to support the delegation's mission to the Vanni and that Australia in particular is prepared to provide any assistance to this effort.

Sources close to the LTTE in the Vanni, however, said that they were neither aware of this delegation nor its mission and that the LTTE is, in principle, opposed to the local government elections in Jaffna which, according to them, are being held under "military occupation".

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