Akashi visits Muttur, Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 May 2003, 10:48 GMT]
Japan’s special envoy to Sri Lanka, Mr. Yashushi Akashi held discussions with Tamils and Muslims in Muttur and with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the Peace Committee in Batticaloa Tuesday. The discussions were largely focussed on recent developments in the east affecting the peace process, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) officials in Batticaloa said. SLMC leader, Mr. Rauff Hakeem, accompanied Mr. Akashi.
Mr. Akashi met representatives of the Muttur Tamil community in the eastern town’s Catholic Church. He met Muslims separately in the local Divisional Secretary’s office.
The envoy heard the views of Tamils and Muslims regarding the recent violence in the eastern town.
The special envoy who flew by Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter to the east Tuesday, held discussions with the Vice President of the Batticaloa Peace Committee Rev. Harry Miller S. J about the current human rights situation in the district. The Batticaloa SLMM declined to reveal details of its meeting with Mr. Akashi.
Meanwhile, a Member of European Parliament also visited Batticaloa Tuesday. The MP Mr. John Cushnahan, of the Christian Democratic Party, held discussions with members of three paramilitaries operating with the Sri Lanka army about the ground situation in the district and the possibility of holding local government polls in the region.
The meeting took place in the SLA’s 23-3 Brigade Headquarters in Batticaloa town. The European Parliamentarian too was flown to Batticaloa in a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter.