SLA soldier, Constable, in LTTE custody released
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 March 2003, 11:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, Lance Corporal Nimal Kumara and Reserve Police Constable Philip Anandasekara who were in Liberation Tigers' (LTTE's) custody were released today in Kilinochchi to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission(SLMM) following a meeting with the LTTE leaders and the members of the SLMM, sources in Kilinochchi said.
LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan agreed to the release when he met with Major General (Retd.) Tryggve Tellefsen and Major General (retd) Trond Furuhovde at the Kilinochchi LTTE Secretariat Wednesday, sources in Kilinochchi said. The meeting lasted from 11am to 1 pm sources added.
Leader of the LTTE's peace negotiation team, Anton Balasingham, and LTTE political head S.P.Thamilchelvan also participated in the meeting.
The SLMM team took the released personnel to Colombo immediately after they were released, sources said.
Nimal Kumara was taken into custody by the LTTE on 24 December when he tresspassed into LTTE controlled region in Manal Aaru while being armed. He was produced in Tamileelam courts following which the Kilinochchi court judge ordered him remanded.
LTTE took Anandasekara into custody 20 February when he entered into LTTE checkpoint in Muhamalai in police uniform. The Kilinochchi judge ordered him remanded until investigations were completed.
In a press release, the SLMM said that a release mechanism to prevent prolonged detainment of members of the LTTE or the Government security forces was also discussed at the meeting and that the LTTE leadership reacted positively to the implementation of such a mechanism, with the
involvement of SLMM.
According to the SLMM, the balance of power of the two parties to the Ceasefire Agreement was also discussed and the LTTE leadership accepted it in principle. However, the SLMM said that the LTTE leadership raised concerns about the buildup of the Sri Lanka Military.
The importance of increased working capacity of the parties in relation to the peace process was discussed, said the SLMM, as it felt that there was a need for more "delegation of authority" and more "qualified people" on both sides to strengthen the continuing "forward movement" of the peace process in Sri Lanka.