Sri Lanka's quick exit from Norway, a political blunder- Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 June 2006, 15:07 GMT]
Sri Lanka delegation left Thorbjørnrud Hotel in Jevnaker, Oslo, mid day Thursday, boycotting talks scheduled to continue until Friday, after being present at the talks venue for only half a day. "Sri Lanka displaying crass exhibitionism, has abandoned all norms of diplomatic protocol by disrespecting the efforts of Norwegian facilitators by making a quick exit from Norway. It is a major political blunder," said S.P.Thamilchelvan speaking to reporters at 4:00 p.m. Friday, sources from Norway said.

"Even if Colombo had found the initial progress unacceptable, they had the diplomatic responsibility to wait and observe if the efforts of Norway to improve the situation between the parties were bearing any results, and to clearly articulate their disagreements to the other participants. By abandoning the talks they have set a bad precedent to the worsening relationship among the parties and had further jeopardized the tenuous Cease Fire Agreement," Thamilchelvan added.

The press briefing was held after the LTTE delegation met with Swedish Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and Norwegian peace envoy, Hans Bauer, at 2:00 p.m., Friday.

Thamilchelvan said that during the meeting the SLMM Head had conveyed the SLMM's decision to not engage in any monitoring of sea-activities until the current dispute between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is resolved by the parties.

"The matters related to the use of maritime waters adjoining the Tamil Homeland is a critical component of maintaining the military parity that existed when the CFA was signed. Our leadership is therefore unlikely to make compromises that will affect this parity," Thamilchelvan said.

While accusing the Sri Lanka Government of pursuing a campaign to discredit the Liberation Tigers and lobbying the international community to proscribe the Tigers, Thamilchelvan said the European Union ban came largely as a result of Colombo's insistence. He, however, thanked the monitors of Denmark, Finland and Sweden for their tireless efforts as part of the SLMM.

"We have no objections to talking to the monitors from member countries of the European Union, as we have demonstrated even today. What we have problems with are the formal engagement of the members from EU in adjudicating critical matters on the ground," Thamilchelvan said in the press briefing.

"The conduct of the Sri Lanka Government is indicative of their bona fides towards the peace process. Instead of showing good faith towards promoting peace, Colombo, during the last several years have been working with focussed mission to discredit and proscribe the Tigers among the international community," Thamilchelvan said.

Norwegian facilitators have sent five key questions to both the Sri Lankan President Rajapakse and to the LTTE Leader Pirapaharan.

Sources in Colombo said that the Norwegians have given until 20 June for the parties to respond.

Sources in Colombo also said that Sri Lanka Government has criticised the SLMM for releasing a report in the SLMM's website that was originally planned for release after Geneva-II.

 

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