TNA outlines its policy to Norwegian delegation

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 January 2002, 13:35 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Thursday reiterated its stand to the Norwegian government delegation that the ban imposed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka should be lifted immediately to facilitate the commencement of peace negotiations. "No parallel talks should take place with any other Tamil political formation when negotiating with the LTTE", stressed the TNA delegation led by its parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan.

The delegation of the TNA also included six other parliamentarians Messrs V.Anandasangaree, Joseph Pararajasingham, A.Vinayagamoorthy, K.Gajendrakumar,E.Thangavadivelu, Sivasakthi Ananthan and a former parliamentarian Raja Kuhaneswaran.

The Norwegian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgeson. It included special envoy Erik Solheim and a foreign ministry official Kjersto Tromsbl.

At the commencement of the 45-minute talks at Norwegian embassy Thursday afternoon around 1 p.m. the TNA delegation thanked the government of Norway for coming forward to recommence its facilitator role in finding a political solution to the Tamil national question.

The TND delegation expressed optimism that this time the Norwegian initiative would succeed in bringing the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to the negotiating table.

The TNA delegation elaborated on its election manifesto stating "the spectacular success of the TNA at the last general election in the northeast Sri Lanka is mandate for negotiations with the LTTE and for lifting the ban on the LTTE in Sri Lanka."

The TNA election manifesto called for the immediate cessation of the war currently waged in the northeast and immediate commencement of the process of negotiations with the LTTE with international third party involvement.

The TNA further said in the manifesto "to ensure that the negotiations are properly focussed and are purposeful and successful-no parallel negotiations should take place with any other Tamil political organizations when the Sri Lankan Government negotiating with the LTTE."

Commenting on the decision to not to participate in the proposed peace talks between the SL government and the LTTE, the TNA delegation said that "all efforts of the Tamil moderate leadership to find a just and reasonable political solution to the Tamil national question for the last fifty years had failed due to the lack of comprehension and consistency in the policy of the successive Sinhalese dominated governments in power".

"The moderate Tamil leadership was taken for a ride by the successive governments on the pretext of having negotiations and entering into agreements and pacts. Now we have come to a situation that just and durable political solution could be found to the Tamil national question only with meaningful talks with the LTTE with the international third party involvement", the TNA delegation categorically told the Norwegian team.

The Norwegian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgeson met Sri Lankan Prime Minsiter Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo, Thursday. (from left) Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, Jon Westborg, the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Vidar Helgeson, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. G.L.Peris, Minister of Industrial Development and cabinet spokesman.


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