'Funds to NE only after resumption of peace talks'-Akashi

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 September 2003, 18:05 GMT]
The Japanese special peace envoy, Mr.Yasushi Akashi, said Friday that the funds pledged at the Tokyo donor conference will be channeled for the reconstruction of the northeast only after the resumption of stalled peace talks. The international aid community and the World Bank are also of the same view, he said at the end of the discussion held at Colombo Hilton Hotel Friday to find ways and means to release the funds pledged to the national development of Sri Lanka, sources said.

Mr. Akashi further said the chances of resuming stalled peace talks between the GOSL and the LTTE within two weeks are high. Another round of talks with the representatives of donor countries and international aid community would be held during the end of this year or first part of next year, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Akashi is to meet the political wing leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, on Sunday at Kilinochchi, diplomatic sources said. He is expected to discuss with the LTTE leadership its response to GOSL's interim administrative proposal, sources said.

Mr. Akashi will be accompanied by the Japanese ambassador in Colombo, sources said.

On Friday evening, Mr. Akashi met the Leader of the Opposition, Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, at the latter's official residence, sources said.


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