Discussion on core political issues to start

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 November 2002, 21:09 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government said Thursday that it would begin discussions next week with the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) on political issues to find a solution to the ethnic conflict.

Sri Lanka's Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris, addressing the weekly cabinet briefing in Colombo, said the setting up of a political committee at Thailand peace talks last week was an unanticipated step to start negotiation on core issues.

The minister, who leads the Sri Lankan delegation, said that he would establish direct contacts with Mr.Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator of the LTTE, within next few days .

Minister Peiris expressed hope that the Oslo aid summit, which is scheduled to be held on November 25, would be successful. Several ministers and top officials of twenty-one donor countries are expected to participate in the Oslo summit.

He added that the government would expedite all development work in the country as soon as the foreign funds were available.

Meanwhile the Interior Minister Mr.John Amaratunge announced in parliament Thursday, participating in the budget debate, that the country is to get three billion US dollars as special donation from the Oslo aid summit by the end of this month. Sri Lanka also would get 0.8 billion US dollars as donation from the Oslo summit annually. Next aid summit, which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo during the first part of next year, would also provide loans for launching development activities in Sri Lanka, Minister Amaratunge said.

 

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