LTTE will participate at Geneva Talks if safe passage guaranteed through Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 16:15 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will participate at the second session of peace negotiations in Geneva during 19-21 April provided that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Norwegian facilitators guarantee the safety and safe passage of the Tamil Tiger negotiating team through Colombo Katunayake international airport. Mr. Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator of the LTTE, said he made this specific request for the security of the negotiating team when he met the Norwegian Development Minister, Mr. Erik Solheim Wednesday at his residence in London.

Mr. Anton Balasingham
Mr. Anton Balasingham
Mr Solheim assured that he will convey the security concerns of the LTTE leadership when he meets President Rajapakse in Colombo next week, on 6 April, Mr. Balasingam further said.

The Norwegian Minister in charge of peace talks met Mr Balasingham and his wife Adele and discussed the ground situation for two hours. Mr Solheim was assisted by two senior Norwegian government officials.

During the discussion Mr Balasingham explained in detail the violent activities of the Tamil paramilitaries and their killing spree in Vavuniya and in the Batticoloa district. Expressing deep disillusionment over the government’s reluctance to disarm Tamil paramilitaries, the LTTE’s chief negotiator has impressed upon the Norwegians that the peace process could not move forward until paramilitaries are disarmed and their violent activities are brought to an end. "The agenda for the second round of talks will be definitely about disarming the Tamil paramilitaries if the government fails to take action to contain them as pledged during the first session of Geneva talks," Mr Balasingham told the Norwegian facilitators.

Mr. Erik Solheim
Mr. Erik Solheim
Mr Erik Solheim will meet President Rajapakse next Thursday when he arrives in Colombo on a one day visit. Mr Jon Hanssen –Bauer, the newly appointed Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Peace Process will accompany Mr Solheim during the meeting with the Sri Lankan President.

Mr Hanssen-Bauer plans to visit Killinochchi on April 5 to meet the LTTE’s political leaders.

On his way back to Oslo he will meet Mr Balasingham on the 8 April at his London residence.


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