TNA delegation meets Helgessen, Wickremesinghe

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 May 2003, 00:06 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation met with Norwegian deputy foreign minister Mr. Vidar Helgessen and the Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe separately Monday and held discussions regarding resumption of peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), political sources in Colombo said.

Some members of the TNA delegation are to leave Tuesday morning to Killinochchi to discuss with the leadership of the LTTE about the outcome of the talks it held with the Norwegian deputy foreign minister and the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremanayake Monday, TNA sources said.

The TNA delegation told the Norwegian foreign minister that the aid now promised in support of peace and development must primarily be used to rebuild the northeast province destroyed by war.

The devastation of the northeast province cannot be compared to other parts of the country. Therefore TNA cannot accept the stand taken by the government that the proposed aid will be used for developing the entire country, TNA delegation reiterated during the discussion with the Norwegian foreign minister, sources said.

It is necessary that a firm administrative financial and other structures with adequate powers need to be established for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged northeast province. The Sub committee for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) should be strengthened to fulfill the above purpose stressed the TNA delegation during the talks with the Prime Minister Mr.Wickremasinghe, sources said.

The international community should guarantee the amount of their contribution that would be allocated to the northeast reconstruction fund. This guarantee is needed to remove suspicion among Tamils. From the time the country gained political independence no development work has taken place in the northeast province. Some irrigation projects that were implemented in the Northeast benefited only sinhalese who were brought in from the south and settled in crown lands, TNA delegation pointed out to the Prime Minister, sources said.

During the discussion the Prime Minister made some suggestions to the TNA to be submitted to the LTTE leadership, sources said.

Treasury Secretary Mr.Charita Ratwatte, Defence Secretary Mr. Austin Fernando, Peace Secretariat Secretary General Mr.Bernard Gunatilake and Prime Minister's Senior Advisor Mr.Bradman Weerakoon participated in the discussion with Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, sources said.

Norwegian ambassador in Sri Lanka Mr. Hans Brattskar and Second Secretary Mr. Tomas Strangland participated with the deputy foreign minister Mr. Vidar Helgessen in the discussion, sources said.

The TNA delegation that met the Prime Minister comprised parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan, Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham, G.G.Gajendrakumar, Mr.N.Raviraj, Mr.A.Vinayagamoorthy and Mr.K.Thangavadivel, sources said.

Messrs R.Sampanthan, Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham and Mr.N.Raviraj were in the TNA delegation that met the Norwegian deputy foreign minister, sources said.

 

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