‘Defunct’ SDN is shut down

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 17:56 GMT]
Following several unsuccessful meetings of the Sub-Committee on De-escalation and Normalisation (SDN), at which the Sri Lanka Army refused to reallocate its troops to pave the way for the resettlement of refugees, the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government Tuesday decided to shut down and discuss the matter in future at the direct talks between the two sides.

"The subcommittee (on de-escalation and normalisation) is suspended, " Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator, said. He was speaking to reporters at the fourth round of talks between both sides which were being held in Bangkok, Thailand.

The SDN was one of two sub-committees set up at the second round of talks between the two sides which was also held in Bangkok in November.

The other body, the Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN), would continue to function and would now take up the issue of the resettlement of refugees, Mr. Balasingham said.

The SDN was set up to "examine ways and means to ensure resettlement, the return of private property and the resumption of economic activities in these areas." It was headed by Sri Lanka’s defense secretary, Mr. Austin Fernando, and LTTE’s Special COmmander for Batticaloa-Ampara, Col. Karuna.

The SDN was unable to progress amid refusals by the SLA Commander in Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, to reallocate his troops and, most recently, a demand by him that the LTTE must disarm its troops and decommission its heavy weapons.

The Army’s "unreasonable and unacceptable demands" had rendered the SDN "defunct" Mr. Balasingham said.

 

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