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Canadian High Commissioner meets Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 September 2003, 17:58 GMT]
The Canadian Highcommissioner in Sri Lanka, Ms. Valerie Raymond, met with the Political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, at the LTTE’s Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi Friday, and encouraged the LTTE “to move forward steadfastly [in finding a negotiated political settlement to the ethnic conflict] in spite of any obstacles that are usually expected in such protracted conflict resolutions,” sources said.

The High Commissioner and her team arrived in Kilinochchi around 10.00 am by land from Jaffna. Ms. Elizabeth Baldwin-Jones, Political/Economic Counselor at the Canadian High Commission in Colombo, and Mr. Joe William, Senior Development Officer of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), were associated with Ms. Raymond at the meeting, the sources said.

The sources added that Mr. Thamilchelvan explained the 'realistic' nature of the LTTE’s counter proposals to the Sri Lankan government’s proposals for an Interim Administration for the Northeast to be presented next month, put together with the advice of Constitutional and Legal experts from the Tamil diaspora, and specifically thanked her for the input from the Canada-based Forum of Federations (FF).

Canadian Ambassador Meeting
Mr. Joe William, Highcommisssioner Valerie Raymond and Ms. Elizabeth Baldwin-Jones.

On behalf of the FF, Mr.Bob Rae, the former premier of the Ontario province in Canada, and Mr. David Cameron, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, participated at the LTTE’s Paris meeting to provide their input based on Canadian Federalism.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ms. Raymond said, “I had a constructive discussion with Mr. Thamilchelvan. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I have urged him to return to face-to-face talks as soon as possible. Once the LTTE has returned to talks, we urge them to stay the course until a final political settlement is achieved.”

“We feel that,” Ms. Raymond said, “the development work can continue on a parallel track to improve the lives of the people at the same time as the political negotiations are continuing."

Mr. George of the LTTE assisted Mr. Thamilchelvan at the meeting.

Canadian Ambassador Meeting
Mr. Thamilchelvan and Mr.George

Canadian Ambassador Meeting
Ms. Valerie Raymond meets Mr.Thamilchelvan

Canadian Ambassador Meeting
Canadian Highcommissioner and her team, meeting Thamilchelvan and George at the LTTE Peace Secretariat

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