Balasingham denies agreement reached, expresses surprise

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 May 2001, 18:38 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Thursday expressed surprise and concern at the Sri Lankan government's statement suggesting that agreement had been reached between the two sides on several matters. When contacted about the statement issued by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar Thursday, Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE's chief negotiator, emphatically denied that agreement had been reached on any matters and expressed surprise at Sri Lanka's statement, describing it as "recklessly premature" and "factually incorrect"

"The discussions on several sensitive and protracted matters have been ongoing for a considerable period with the facilitation of the Norwegians," Mr. Balasingham told TamilNet.

anton_balasingham_1.jpg"The discussions are definitely not at a stage where agreement can be said to have been reached and we are surprised at Mr Kadirgamar's statement," he added.

Mr. Balasingham further said the LTTE was "concerned" at the sudden development, given the understanding in place with Norway.

"The Norwegian facilitator [Erik Solheim] expressed his desire that statements on the discussions should not be made public until such time as agreement had been secured," he said.

Mr. Balasingham said the LTTE would issue a statement on Friday morning clarifying the situation.


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