'Final decision on LTTE camp issue after meeting SLMM' - Solheim

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 August 2003, 14:57 GMT]
A final decision on the Kurankupanchan camp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will be taken after Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian special peace envoy, meets with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, according to Mr. Solheim, who addressed media persons after about three hours of talks with the political head of the LTTE, Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, Wednesday at the LTTE’s political secretariat in Kilinochchi, Vanni sources said.

Meanwhile, Mr.Thamilchelvan told journalists that he had reiterated the stand of the LTTE already taken on the Kurankupanchan issue to Mr. Solheim. "We have not effected any change in our decision on the Kurankupanchan issue. Our earlier decision still stands," Mr.Thamilchelvan said.

Mr. Solheim expressed confidence that an opportunity would arise to make a final decision on the issue after his talks with the SLMM.

The LTTE from that start has claimed that its Kurankupanchan camp in the Kinniya division in Trincomalee district has been in existence for several years. However, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Army maintain that the LTTE camp has been constructed after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the LTTE and the GOSL, sources.

Mr. Solheim arrived in Kilinochchi with Norwegian embassy officials by a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter Wednesday morning and held discussions with Thamilchelvan starting at 11.30 a.m. The discussions concluded at about 3 p.m. The discussions centred on several issues related to the stalled peace process in addition to the controversial LTTE camp issue, sources in the Vanni said.

Mr.Thamilchelvan, speaking to journalists after the talks, expressed his concern over the manner the media in the South was playing the camp issue to derail the peace process, saying the media exaggerated the issue.

He added that the LTTE is now keenly studying the interim administrative structure proposal of the UNF government." We will submit our response to the UNF government after consultation with constitutional experts and legal advisors is completed," said Mr.Thamilchelvan.

Mr. Solheim told journalists his visit to Sri Lanka this time was to iron out the differences between the parties concerned and to take forward the stalled peace process.

Mr. Solheim returned to Colombo Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to brief Sri Lankan government leaders on the outcome of his talks with Thamilchelvan, political sources in Colombo said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Solheim is scheduled to visit Batticaloa Thursday and to discuss several problems with representatives of several local non-governmental organizations and leading citizens, sources said. The Norwegian embassy in Colombo has made all arrangements for Mr. Solheim to visit Batticaloa, the sources said.

However SLMM sources said that Mr. Solheim would not visit the site of the Kurankupanchchan camp in Trincomalee as speculated in a section of the Colombo media.


Related Articles:
12.08.03   Norwegian peace envoy Solheim arrives in Colombo
01.08.03   'SLMM unjust in asking the LTTE to remove camp' -Thamilchelv..
01.07.03   SLA-LTTE in standoff over control of area in Trincomalee

 

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