Sea Tigers, SLN confer on Jaffna issues
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 November 2002, 12:44 GMT]
The Deputy Commander of the Sea Tigers Wednesday urged
the Sri Lanka Navy not to engage in any action that
would disrupt the peace negotiations to end the
islandís conflict at a meeting with a Sri Lankan
military delegation in the no manís land in Muhamalai
in southern Jaffna Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Seliyan, the Deputy Commander, assured the Sri Lankan delegation
that the Sea Tigers would do nothing on their part to
disturb the peace process. Both sides told the press
that the discussions were cordial and the meeting was
The discussions began at 10 a.m. and concluded at two
p.m. in a shelter put up by the ICRC in the no manís
The SLN agreed to increase the number of entry points
in Jaffna from which fishermen are currently allowed
to set out to sea from 52 to 79.
It was also agreed that there would be no restrictions
on fishing from eight entry points in Punguduthivu,
Karainagar, Mathagal and Kayts. However, the Tigers
pointed out that these entry points are in places
where there arenít any people. Hence it was agreed to
reconsider the schedule of the entry points in these
Both sides said they are scheduled to meet in
Tellipalai near the Palaly high security zone on
Saturday 16 November to further discuss civilian
concerns in the northern peninsula.
The LTTE representatives brought to the notice of the Sri
Lankan delegation that the commander of their northern
forces, Col. Theepan, would be able to attend the
meeting on Saturday only if he can come with his
handgun and personal bodyguard of ten.
During the talks, the LTTE representatives stressed
that the A9 highway to Jaffna should be open round the
clock for the convenience of the public, sources said.
The LTTE delegation had urged the Sri Lankan side that
the people who were driven out from the coastal
villages of Jaffna due to the war should be allowed to
resettle in their homes and that the coastal road from
Pt. Pedro to Maruthankerni which is currently blocked
at Nagar Kovil should be opened to ease the tedious
access problems currently faced by refugees returning
to the region.
The Tigers also told the Sri Lankan delegation that
fishermen in Paashaiyoor and Kurunagar, coastal
suburbs of Jaffna town, should be permitted to fish in
the Jaffna lagoon without any restrictions.
It was pointed out that the working hours of the ICRC
has to be taken into account for keeping the A9 open
round the clock when the Tigers brought up the matter
and underscored their wish to have the road open 24
hours of the day.
The SLNís commander for its eastern command (Comeast)
Rear Admiral Sarath Ratnakeerthy, the commander of its
northern command (Comnorth) Rear Admiral Sarath P.
Weerasekara, Sri Lanka Air Force Group Captain Kolitha
Gunatilleke, and Acting Security Forces Commander,
Jaffna, Maj. Gen. T. Ratnasabapathy comprised the Sri
Lankan government delegation which was led by Maj.
General Shantha Kottegoda.
Lt. Col. Seliyan led the LTTE delegation comprising,
senior Sea Tiger officers, Lt. Col. Sri Ram, Lt. Col.
Ranjan, Lt. Col. Arivu from the headquarters of the
northern front forces of the LTTE, Mr. Ilamparithi,
head of the LTTE political division in Jaffna and Mr.
Pulithevan, secretary to the LTTEís peace secretariat.
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Maj. Gen.
(ret) Trond Furhovde was also present at the