Diplomats optimistic over Tiger peace call

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 November 2000, 21:51 GMT]
(CORRECTION) Officials representing Norway and India met Monday evening with Mr.Karl Inderfurth, US State Secretary with his officials, Donald Camp and Gary Usery, at the residence of the US Ambassador Mr.Ashely Wills in Colombo, source said. Officials representing Sri Lanka's government, main opposition and a local Tamil party were also present.

Mr.John Westborg, Norway's Ambassador and the Indian envoy in Colombo Mr.Gopal Gandhi, attended, along with Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, a Minister in Sri Lanka's Peoples' Alliance (PA) Government and Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, Deputy Leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP).

Mr.R.Sampanthan, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) also participated in the discussions.

The speech made Monday by the leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan, calling for unconditional peace talks to resolve the island's protracted subsequent to the establishment of a climate of normalcy was discussed, along with the facilitatory role of the Norway Government, the sources said.

The diplomats unanimously agreed that Mr.Pirapaharan's speech has provided a golden opportunity to vigorously pursue the peace-making initiatives of the Norway government, the sources said.

They urged all efforts should be made to grasp this opportunity to find a peaceful solution through talks to the ethnic problem.

Mr. Inderfurth concludes Tuesday his two day visit to Sri Lanka which is part of a wider South Asia tour.

 

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