LTTE officials study Swiss Federalism
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 December 2002, 17:41 GMT]
A top level delegation of the Liberation Tigers this week visited Switzerland at the invitation of the government there to study the country’s federal system, officials said. In a packed schedule, the Tiger delegation met with senior officials of the Swiss government, but squeezed in time to take a guided tour of Bern, they said.
Following the historic agreement reached in Oslo last week with the Sri Lankan government - on internal self-determination in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka based on a federal structure - the Tamil delegation, led by the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator and political advisor Anton Balasingham flew to Switzerland from Norway. The head of the LTTE’s political wing, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan and Special Commander Eastern Flank, Col Karuna were also part of the delegation, officials said reported London based Tamil Guardian newspaper.
In Bern, the LTTE representatives met for two hours with a Swiss government delegation which included the Head of Political Department IV of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Peter Maurer, the Head of Political Division (Asia-Pacific), Ambassador Rodolphe Imhoof , Foreign Affairs Ministry official Marcus Heiniger and Swiss Economic Development Ministry official Verina Nosar.
The LTTE delegation then met with the Director of the Resource Network for Conflict Studies and Transformation (RNCST), Dr. Norbert Ropers, and representatives of a Swiss mine-clearing NGO.
A Liberation Tigers' delegation lead by Mr. Anton Balasingham met with senior Swiss
government officials to study their Federal systems. The LTTE delegates
right side of table (R to L): Col Karuna, Mr A Balasingham, Mr TamilSelvan
and Mrs A Balasingham. The Swiss delegation, left side of table (L to R):
Marcus Heiniger, Peter Maurer, Rodolphe Imhof, Verina Nosar and Professor Dr
After lunch, the visiting LTTE officials met the Head of the Political Affairs Directorate of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Blaise Godet after which they held two hours of discussions with Swiss constitutional experts, including the Vice-director of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, Prof. Dr. Luzius Mader.
As part of their official visit, the LTTE delegates were also taken on a sightseeing tour of Bern, including a stop at a cheese factory, officials said.