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Thamilchelvan conveys LTTE’s stand on CFA, talks to Solheim

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 June 2004, 08:37 GMT]
“If the Sri Lankan President and government are serious about the cease-fire agreement and peace talks they should stop sheltering Karuna and backing the murder and mayhem in which some of his henchmen are indulging Batticaloa. This is what we told the Norwegian facilitators today”, said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, head of the LTTE’s political division, speaking to the press after meeting Norway’s special peace envoy Mr. Erik Solheim Wednesday in Kilinochchi.

Real Audio Icon Audio transcript of Press Briefing by Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan
Real Audio Icon Audio transcript of Press Briefing by Mr. Erik Solheim

LTTE team in meeting with the Norwegian teamMr. Thamilchelvan said that opposition leader Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe had conveyed a message to the LTTE leadership through the Norwegian facilitators that neither the United National Party nor its leadership were aware of ex- MP of the party Mr. Ali Zaheer Moulana’s involvement with renegade eastern commander Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan (Karuna). Mr. Wickremesinghe had assured the LTTE leadership that the UNP and its leadership had no hand at all in the matter.

“We made our stand known to the Norwegians very clearly and firmly”, said Mr. Thamilchelvam, referring to the LTTE’s stand on the backing provided for the renegade commander by the Sri Lankan military.

“We are in the process of debriefing Karuna’s colleagues who escaped from the custody of the Sri Lankan military intelligence. More details about the manner in which the SLA intelligence is using Karuna to destabilise the cease fire agreement will soon come to light”, he said.

Norway team in meeting with the LTTE's Political Head“There is no change in the LTTE’s stand regarding the basis for resuming peace talks with the Government of Sri Lanka. The future of the cease fire agreement and the resumption of peace talks are now solely in the hands of the Sri Lankan government”, he said.

Responding to question about a report in Colombo media that the World Bank and other donors have decided to sidestep the LTTE and provide assistance to develop the northeast directly through the Sri Lankan government, he said: “The LTTE will not accept donor assistance for developing northeast which is channelled directly through ministries of the GOSL. Donor assistance should not be contrary to the Tokyo Declaration. International assistance for the northeast should be handled only through an interim mechanism created for the purpose. But we checked with the World Bank about the report. They assured us that the said news item was a distortion”.

Speaking to the press at the conclusion of the meeting, special envoy Mr. Solheim said: "there is no major breakthrough I can speak of at the moment but we as facilitators are working hard to bring both the parties to the negotiating table soon".

Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Hans Brattskar also took part in the meeting.

Meanwhile, the website of the LTTE's peace secretariat said:

"The Norwegian team briefed Mr. Tamilselvan of the meetings they had in Colombo with Foreign Minister Laksman Kadirkamar, Government Officials and the Leader of the opposition Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe".

"At the outset the Ambassador told Mr. Tamilselvan that he has conveyed the concerns of Mr. Tamilselvan discussed in the last meeting to the government. Referring to the response of Laksman Kadirkamar on the issue of SLBC Tamil service accommodating the vicious campaign against the LTTE carried on by TBC in London the Ambassador said that the Minister promised to look into it and rectify any lapses", the LTTE website said.

"Mr. Tamilselvan told Norwegian team that the Tamil people and their elected parliamentary representatives are seriously concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Batticaloa, Amparai. The Head of the Political Wing briefed the Norwegian team on the Tamil perception of the government's duplicity in allowing the military intelligence division in Batticaloa, Amparai to aid and abate Karuna's men to carry out killings and abductions. A serious situation had arisen Mr. Tamilselvan said, that many journalists and academics are leaving Batticaloa consequent to threats and intimidation by Karuna's men", according to the LTTE's peace secretariat website.

It quoted Mr. Thamilchelvan as telling the Norwegian team: "If this situation is allowed to continue, it will jeopardise the CFA and the entire peace process".

Mr. P. Nadesan, Head of the Tamil Eelam Police Service and Mr. S. Puleedevan, Director of the Peace Secretariat were associated with Mr. Thamilchelvan in the meeting.


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