LTTE-SLA meeting held in Kattaiparichchan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 July 2003, 18:54 GMT]
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Norwegian Major General (retd.) Triggve Teleffsen, presided over a discussion between the district military and political leadership of the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army commanders in the Trincomalee district at Kattaiparichchan in the Trincomalee district Wednesday evening, sources said.

The sources said that the meeting was held inside a tent specially constructed for this purpose in the no-man zone, and it lasted for over an hour.

On behalf of the LTTE, its Trincomalee district military commander, Colonel Pathuman, the district political head, Mr.Thilak, LTTE activists Uthayan and Vimal participated. On behalf of the Sri Lanka Army, its Brigadiers in Trincomalee, Senevira and Zahir, attended the discussion, sources said.

Major General Teleffsen was accompanied by the SLMM’s local head in Trincomalee, Mr.Abdel Burkan, and his deputy, Mr. Hurt Spur, the sources said.

After the meeting, the SLMM head told journalists at the site that talks between the LTTE and Sri Lanka Army officials were constructive and fruitful.

According to him, the SLMM has agreed to hold a full-scale study about the jungle area in the Trincomalee district where the LTTE is operating. " We need some time to go through this issue to come to a settlement," said the SLMM head.

The SLMM team Monday visited the Kurankupanchchan area in the Kinniya division where the Sri Lanka Army has claimed that the LTTE is engaged in constructing a new camp, sources said

But the LTTE has denied the SLA's claim and said that the Kurankupanchchan area has been under their control even before the ceasefire agreement signed between the government and the LTTE, sources said

The SLMM head is reported to have told the SLA commanders who participated in Wednesday’s discussion that he had seen evidence in the land in dispute during his visit to prove that the LTTE had been there before the MoU was signed, sources said.

According to the SLMM head, the LTTE has agreed to return the army vehicle it captured with six SLA soldiers a few months ago near the Welgam Vihare area, which comes under its control. He said that the army truck was expected to be returned on Thursday.

The soldiers were already released by the LTTE in exchange of their cadres arrested by the SLA. But the army truck used by the released soldiers to remove sand from the LTTE controlled area has not been returned to the army yet, sources said.

The SLMM head further said that both parties agreed to have direct contact with each other to sort out differences whenever they arise in the future.

Meanwhile, the SLMM head Wednesday said that he will commence his three-day visit to the Vanni from Friday. He will be holding discussions with the LTTE leadership on several issues, including reducing tension in sea and problems in Trincomalee district between the LTTE and Sri Lanka Army, sources said.

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