"We solidly support leader Pirapaharan"- Thilak tells Solheim

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2004, 08:19 GMT]
"We are solidly supporting the leadership of Mr.V.Pirapaharan. We are against dividing Tamils by north and east", Mr.S.Thilak, Trincomalee district political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Friday categorically told Norwegian special peace envoy Mr. Erik Solheim during a discussion held Friday morning at the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission office in Trincomalee town.

Trinco Norway meeting
( R-L) Mr.Solheim shakes hands with Mr.Thilak, Mr.Tharman, Ms Kaaronja before commencing discussion in SLMM Trincomalee office Friday morning
Mr. Thilak and Mr. Erik Solheim met the press after the discussion, which lasted for about an hour. LTTE Trincomalee district women political head Miss Kaaronja and TEEDOR district head Mr.S.Tharman accompanied Mr.Thilak.

Norwegian ambassador Mr. Hans Bragattskar and some Norwegian diplomats associated with Mr.Solheim during the talks. On behalf of the SLMM, its chief operation officer Mr Errki Poyhia and Trincomalee head Mr.Kurt Spur were present, sources said.

Mr.Thilak said at the media briefing that the discussion with Mr.Solheim was constructive. " During the discussion we clearly told him that Mr.Pirapaharan is our leader and Colonel Pathuman has been our district military commander. Also we are totally opposing the division of Tamils by north and east." said Mr.Thilak.

" We brought to the notice of Mr.Solheim why Colonel Pathuman has gone to Killinochchi. He is now in Killinochchi as a part of his routine visit to meet the LTTE leader once in every three to five months", said Mr.Thilak.

The discussion centred on the forthcoming general election. "We told Mr.Solheim that The Government Agent has given an assurance that polling stations would be located in the no man zones close to the army camps located at Kattaiparichchan and Mahindapura in the Trincomalee district for the voters in the LTTE held areas to exercise their franchise. However we brought to the notice of Mr.Solheim of our fear that this arrangement could be derailed due to political interference", said Mr.Thilak.

Mr.Thilak told Mr.Solheim that the LTTE has been supporting the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the forthcoming general election and electioneering in Trincomalee district has been progressing without any problems.

"We discussed with Mr.Solheim about the strengthening the relationship between Tamils and Muslims in the district. The development of our areas also came up for discussion", Mr.Thilak said.

Trinco Norway meeting
Trinco Norway meeting

Trinco Norway meeting
( L-R ) Norwegian ambassador in Sri Lanka Mr.Hans Bratskaar, Mr. Erik Solheim, Mr.S.Tharman of LTTE and Mr Thilak, Trincomalee district political head of LTTE and Ms Kaaronja of LTTE ( partly hidden) behind during talks held Friday morning in the Trincomalee office of the SLMM

Mr. Erik Solheim told press persons that he discussed with the LTTE Trincomalee delegation about the crisis in the east and several other issues such as holding general election and existing relationship between Tamils and Muslims.

Mr.Solheim said that he had discussion Friday morning with a delegation comprising Muslim representatives. The discussion took place at the hotel where he has been staying, he added.


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