Sampanthan meets EU envoys

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 March 2004, 12:45 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Mr.R.Sampanthan Tuesday told the envoys of member countries of the European Union (EU) based in Colombo that Tamils of northeast would lose faith in the Sri Lanka's election process and its democracy if tens of thousands of voters residing in the Liberation Tigers controlled areas are not allowed to exercise their franchise, political sources in Colombo said.

The discussion between Mr.Sampanthan and the ambassadors of Britain, German, France, Italy, Sweden and Netherlands took place Tuesday at the Netherlands Embassy, sources said.

The luncheon discussion commenced around 12.20 p.m. and concluded by 1.20 p.m. Sri Lanka's Netherlands Ambassador organized the discussion.

Netherlands is currently holding the presidentship of EU.

Mr.Sampanthan later told Tamilnet that discussion centred on several topics and was fruitful.

EU ambassadors had asked Mr.Sampanthan the TNA views on current political situation in the country and particularly in the northeast and the post election scenario, sources said.

Regarding the franchise of LTTE held area voters, Mr.Sampanthan requested the EU envoys to ensure that those Tamils to cast their voters freely and without any interruption by the security forces. He asked EU envoys to post their observers to polling stations that are to be located in the northeast for LTTE held area voters to exercise their franchise, sources said.

When the EU diplomats referred the current east situation Mr.Sampanthan replied that late Tamil leader Mr.S.J.V. Chelvanayakam had clearly stated fifty years that the northeast province has been the traditional homeland for Tamil speaking people. This objective has been clearly stated in the Oslo declaration and the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) of the LTTE, sources said.

On a question put forward by diplomats about the post election scenario Mr.Sampanthan said the primary objective of the TNA is that any government coming to power in the forthcoming general election should implement the ISGA. "TNA's position will be that it would support any party which accepts and implement the ISGA proposal of the LTTE and to continue the current peace talks to find a permanent political solution on that basis," Sampanthan told the envoys.

 

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