Dispute over delegation makeup derails LTTE, GoSL meeting
[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 June 2006, 18:22 GMT]
Head of the LTTE’s Political Wing, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, met top Norwegian officials and the head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) for over an hour Thursday evening. Mr. Thamilchelvan told TamilNet that the LTTE had come to Oslo to discuss the future of the SLMM with Norway. However, although Head of the LTTE’s Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan, was prepared to meet his counterpart, Palitha Kohona, heading the Sri Lankan delegation, but as Colombo continued to insist senior members of the LTTE be included in LTTE delegation, the LTTE-GoSL meeting did not take place, Thamilchelvan said.
Explaining that there were principled issues related to the formal engagement of monitors from Nordic EU member states after the EU's recent proscription of the LTTE being discussed, Mr. Thamilchelvan said that the dialogue with the Norwegians and the SLMM would continue on Friday.
Norwegian International Minister Erik Solheim, Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Major General Ulf Henricsson, Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hans Brattskar, Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer and former Norwegian State Secretary Vidar Helgesen met with the LTTE Political Head at Thorbjørnrud Hotel Thursday evening.
SLMM Head and the Norwegian Special Envoy would be meeting the LTTE delegation at 9:00 a.m. Friday.
Tamileelam Police Chief B. Nadesan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan and the Legal Advisor Visuvanathan Rudrakumar accompanied LTTE's Political Head in the meeting.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has announced a press meet at the Ministry at 9:00 p.m. Thursday.
The Liberation Tigers have also announced a press meet at Hotel Continental, an hour later at 10:00 p.m on Thursday to clarify their stand.
Asked about the EU's stated preparedness to continue dialogue with the LTTE despite the ban, Mr. Thamilchelvan said the LTTE was always
supportive of dialogue, but the formal process of ceasefire
monitoring required a scrupulous commitment to neutrality in Sri Lanka's conflict, which was compromised by the EU ban.
"There are Nordic countries which are not Member States of the EU and their participation is encouraged by the LTTE," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.