Peace dividend delay eroding Tamils' faith in talks – Col. Karuna
[TamilNet, Friday, 28 February 2003, 16:10 GMT]
“There has been no development work in the northeast
so far despite one year of peace. Our people find this
disappointing; and it has eroded their confidence in
the peace process,” said Col. Karuna,
senior commander of the Liberation Tigers, speaking to
presspersons Friday at the conclusion of the second
round of discussions on ceasefire violations, human
rights and Muslim affairs between the Government of
Sri Lanka and LTTE in Vavunathivu, five kilometres
northwest of Batticaloa town.
"We pointed this out at today’s
meeting. The representatives of the government of Sri
Lanka (GOSL) said the matter would be considered at
the next round of talks in Japan. Their response was
satisfactory and encouraging," added Karuna.
“The participation of a UNICEF representative was the
important aspect of today’s meeting. We explained to
the UNICEF the travails of Tamil children affected by
war. As a result, the UNICEF has agreed to hold a
workshop in Kokkaddicholai on problems facing children
here. Plans would be drawn up to improve their lot and
to set up training programs following the proposed
workshop”, he said.
“Six of our members were arrested at sea in
Trincomalee by the Sri Lankan forces and are being
detained. This matter has to be resolved”, Col. Karuna
The LTTE delegation, led by Col. Karuna, comprised Mr.
T. Ramesh, the special commander for
Batticaloa-Amparai District, the head of the Tigers’
Medical Division in the District Mr. S. Vaaman and Mr.
Speaking to the press, Mr. Austin Fernando, Secretary
to the Ministry of Defence, said wide ranging and
useful issues about the development in the northeast
were discussed at the meeting. He said it was decided
to take up the Muslim question before the talks in
Japan next month.
In GOSL team, Mr. Fernando was assisted by Senior
Superintendent of Police (ret) Mr. Abdul Majeed.
Outgoing head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
(SLMM) Maj. Gen. (ret) Trond Furhovde presided.
The new head of the SLMM Maj.Gen (ret) Tryggve
Tellefsen was also present at the discussion and met
the LTTE team.