Solheim briefs Kumaratunga on Prabaharan meet

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 November 2000, 14:40 GMT]
Norway's special envoy Erik Solheim had a two-hour meeting with the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday night to apprise her about the discussion he had with the LTTE leader, V.Pirapaharan at Mallavi in the Vanni on Wednesday.

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Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim (L) greets LTTE leader Prabaharan (R) in the northern Vanni October 31, 2000. Photo:Reuters
Details of the discussions were not known. However, Mr.Solheim earlier told reporters in Colombo that the meeting with the LTTE leader was a first step towards bringing the warring parties to negotiating table.

He said that the LTTE leader brought to the notice of the Norway's delegation that the Tamil areas in the island were suffering under the economic embargo imposed by the Sri Lankan government and that he wanted quick return of normalcy in the northeast.

Earlier on Friday Mr.Solheim briefed the Indian Ambassador in Colombo Mr.Gopal Gandhi about his discussion with the LTTE leader.

A press release issued by the LTTE said "Mr.Pirapaharan called for the de-escalation of the armed conflict and restoration of normalcy in the Tamil homeland as essential pre-requisites to resume political negotiations with Sri Lanka government."

"Mr. Pirapaharan clarified LTTE's position on peace talks" the press release added.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister of India has invited the President of Sri Lanka to visit his country at her convenient date.

Mr.Atalbihari Vajpayee this morning talked to Ms Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge over the telephone. The Indian Prime Minister has extended the invitation over the phone, a statement released by the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

 

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