Norway discusses permanent ceasefire with LTTE
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 January 2002, 22:16 GMT]
Efforts to hammer out a permanent stable ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka government continued Tuesday as a Norwegian delegation returned to London to meet the LTTE's chief negotiator and political advisor, Anton Balasingham, following discussions with the government in Colombo, sources close to the LTTE said.
Erik Solheim, special advisor to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and Kjirste Tromsdal, an official with the same Ministry, met Mr. Balasingham at his residence in London for three hours Tuesday, the sources said.
Their discussions centred on the formation of a structured, stable ceasefire, the sources said. The immediate objective is to convert the unilateral cessations of hostilities being separately observed by both sides into a single stable framework, they added.
The Norwegian team had last week taken to Colombo a set of proposals by the LTTE in this regard. The Sri Lankan government had studied the proposals and put forward other ideas as well, which were communicated to the LTTE Tuesday, the sources said.
The sources added that the matter would now be discussed by the LTTE leadership in the Vanni and Mr. Balasingham, before the movement responds formally to the Sri Lankan government via Norway.
As this process of thrashing out a mutually acceptable and formal ceasefire would take time, Norway has requested the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government to extend their ongoing cessations of hostilities when these expire on January 24, the sources said. The LTTE is due to give its response shortly, following internal deliberations, they added.