TNA, LTTE urge end to southern instability

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 15:37 GMT]
The political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, responding to a question at the press briefing he held Tuesday afternoon in Kilinochchi, said that if the current political crisis in the South were to continue indefinitely, it would seriously impact the peace process and the LTTE would carefully study its options, the Voice of Tigers radio said Tuesday.

The LTTE and TNA leaders met with the press after about two hours of discussions held Tuesday at the Kilinochchi political secretariat, the VOT said.

Fourteen TNA parliamentarians except Batticaloa M.P., Mr.K.Thangavadivel, and Jaffna M.P., Mr.V.Ananadasangaree, participated at the discussion with the LTTE leadership, sources said.

Mr. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the TNA, said that the continuation of the current political instability in the south would certainly affect the peace efforts and the people also would lose confidence in the peace process.

Mr.Thamilchelvan said the discussion with TNA parliamentarians centered on the political crisis now prevailing in the south between the executive presidency and parliamentary legislature and the delay in resuming the peace talks as a result of the instability in the southern politics.

Mr.Sampanthan said the continuation of peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) led by Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, and the LTTE had come to standstill due to the takeover of three key three ministries, including defense, by the President. This had created political chaos in the south of the country.

“The LTTE is prepared to participate in the peace talks once the current political crisis in the south comes to an end. If not for the President's action in taking over the defense ministry, peace talks between the GOSL and LTTE would have resumed now,” Mr.Sampanthan said.

He said that the LTTE and TNA would work jointly to exert pressure on the southern political leaders through the international community to sort out their differences and to resume peace talks as early as possible.

Responding to a question about the internal conflict in the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the main constituent of the TNA, Mr.Sampanthan said that his party was facing a problem created by one individual. “The conduct of the individual has become an obstacle for the TNA’s work in the North East.”

Mr. Sampanthan also said that the TNA always wanted to maintain its friendship and goodwill with India, but it would request India to refrain from making comments that would embolden the communal elements in the South. "Such comments from India would damage the legitimate claims of the Tamil people."

According to Mr. Sampanthan, both the TNA and the LTTE agree on the need to safeguard the rights of the Muslim people in the North East, and there was no difference of opinion among them on this matter.


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