Thamilchelvan outlines condition for future talks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 16:31 GMT]
“We are ready to negotiate with anyone who comes to power at a general election in Sri Lanka as long as he or she is a person ready to work towards an agreement on the political aspirations and expectations of the people living in the unified northeast region with commitment and sincerity,” said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, the head of the political division of the Liberation Tigers, during wide ranging discussions with a group of Muslim and Tamil journalists from the eastern province on Friday night.

The program to familiarise Muslim journalists from the eastern province with the situation in the north, particularly the LTTE controlled Vanni region and to exchange views between them and the Liberation Tigers was organised by the East Lanka Journalists’ Association.

Pointing out the contradictions in the demand that the Muslims should participate as the third party in the peace talks between the LTTE and Colombo, Mr. Thamilchelvan said: “We, the Liberation Tigers, are negotiating with the Sri Lankan state on the basis of the strategic military parity that we achieved by waging war against it for 25 years, shedding blood and sacrificing many lives. But the Muslim leadership always chose to be an integral part of governments that came to power (in Colombo). This is the fundamental difference. Therefore it is wrong to say that the Muslims are being politically ignored because they have no role as the third party to the peace talks”.

“The demand that Muslims should participate as a third party in the peace talks is not appropriate at this juncture. Muslims have joined governments that came to power in Sri Lanka for the last 25 years. Thus they could have secured their rights long ago from the governments in which they took part”, Mr. Thamilchelvan told the visiting Muslim and Tamil journalists.

 

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