Norwegian peace envoy meets TNA delegation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 May 2004, 20:05 GMT]
"Peace talks between the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should be held on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal. The UPFA government should not use the opportunity of holding peace talks as a device to strengthen its position in the parliament and to obtain foreign aid," the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation told the visiting Norwegian special peace envoy Mr. Erik Solheim during a discussion held Tuesday evening at the Norwegian embassy in Colombo, TNA sources said.

The TNA delegation led by its parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan comprised Messrs Mavai Senathirajah, Joseph Pararajasingham, Suresh Premachchandran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Sivanathan Kishor, S.Jeyananthamoorthy, M.K.Eelaventhan, K.Pathmanathan, T.Kanagasabai and Mrs. Padmini Sithamparanathan.

Norwegian ambassador in Colombo Mr. Hans Brattskar and a foreign ministry official participated in the discussion with Mr. Erik Solheim. Discussion commenced around 4 p.m. and concluded at about 5.15 p.m., sources said.

At the start of the discussion the TNA delegation welcomed Norwegian initiatives to resume peace talks with the UPFA government and the LTTE on the invitation of Ms.Kumaratunge, sources said.

TNA delegation said the Sri Lanka government should hold peace talks only with the LTTE, as Tamils in the northeast province has reasserted their position in the April 2nd poll that the LTTE is sole representative of teh Tamils.

Holding peace talks with other parties would make the exercise a drama, TNA delegation added.

Peace talks should be meaningful and must be conducted with clearly defined purpose. The affected people in the northeast should enjoy the benefits of such talks in seeing normalcy return to their lives. The UPFA government should observe the ceasefire agreement signed by the previous government and the LTTE with honest and sincerity, TNA delegation stressed.

There is no clarity within the members of the Sri Lanka government regarding the proposed peace talks with the LTTE. Constituent parties of the UPFA have not made their stands clear in regard to the proposed peace talks. The executive head of the government should first assert that it would be in a position to implement a political solution found at the end of the peace talks, TNA delegation said.

"Tamils need a just and fair political solution based on internal self-determination, sharing the sovereignty by establishing self-rule in their homeland," said the TNA delegation.

TNA delegation pointed out to the peace envoy that the parliament was dissolved and a snap general election was held when the then UNF government was about to resume the stalled peace talks with the LTTE. At that time the UNF was holding majority in the dissolved parliament.

 

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