Solheim urged to help ensure fair polls in north

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 March 2004, 14:33 GMT]
Norway’s special peace envoy for Sri Lanka Mr. Erik Solheim met the Bishop of Jaffna, Government Agent, Consortium of NGOs and the head of the LTTE’s political division for Jaffna Wednesday in the northern town for discussions on the current situation and the status of the ceasefire agreement between the Liberation Tigers. The free and fair conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the north and the need to enable people in the LTTE controlled areas to vote without restrictions were the main issues that were discussed at the all the meetings, sources said.

Mr. Solheim is scheduled to meet the head of the LTTE’s political division, Mr. Thamilchelvan Thursday in Kilinochchi.

He met the Bishop of Jaffna in the morning and then the Government Agent.

During discussions with the Norwegian envoy, Mr. S. Ilamparithy, the head of the LTTE’s political division for Jaffna, said that the forthcoming elections to Sri Lanka’s Parliament is considered an opportunity for the Tamils to show their aspirations to the world. He urged Mr. Solheim that Norway should help in ensuring that people in the LTTE held areas are allowed to vote freely without any hindrance.

Mr. Ilamparithy also pointed out to the Norwegian envoy that the normalcy is yet to be restored satisfactorily in the north.

Mr. Solheim said that Norway has pledged 15 million rupees for the conduct of the polls in a free and fair manner.

Representatives of the Jaffna NGO consortium too emphasised the need to have free and fair elections in their discussions with the Norwegian envoy. They also urged him to help people in LTTE controlled areas to vote freely on 2 April.


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