Moragoda meets Balasingham in London

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 July 2002, 16:16 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Minister Milinda Moragoda met Mr. Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers at the Norwegian ambassadorial residence in London, Saturday. In a statement Saturday, the Norwegian Government hailed the meeting as a "new phase" in its peace initiative in Sri Lanka.

Following is the full text of the statement:

On July 27, 2002 a meeting was held between the chief negotiator for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Anton Balasingham, and Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Reforms, Science and Technology and Deputy Minister for Policy Development and Implementation, Milinda Moragoda. Balasingham was accompanied by his wife Adele.

The meeting marked a new phase in the ongoing peace process in Sri Lanka. The discussion covered a variety of issues regarding the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and preparations for direct negotiations in Thailand, including the agenda for negotiations and the question of an interim administration.

The meeting was held in a good atmosphere. The session lasted for two hours, followed by lunch.

This was the first direct meeting between a central government minister supervising the peace process and the chief negotiator of the LTTE.

The meeting took place at the Norwegian ambassadorial residence in London. Norwegian facilitators were present as observers. State Secretary of Norway, Vidar Helgesen, said after the meeting that it demonstrated the firm commitment of the parties to the peace process and constituted a major step forward toward peace.

Mr. and Mrs. Anton Balasingham with State Secretary of Norway, Vidar Helgesen and Sri Lanka's Minister, Milinda Moragoda (right) (Photo: Jorn Tomter)


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