Solheim's meeting with SL President rescheduled

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 May 2004, 18:49 GMT]
The Norwegian special peace envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, is to meet Sri Lanka's President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, after holding talks with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Kilinochchi Wednesday, State controlled Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) reported in its night news broadcast Tuesday.

Ruling party sources ruled out the possibility of Mr.Solheim meeting Ms. Kumaratunge in Colombo or in Kandy before leaving to Kilinochchi Wednesday morning. Mr.Solheim would meet LTTE political head Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan at the LTTE Peace Secretariat Wednesday, sources said.

Mr.Solheim arrived in Colombo Monday night on a five-day visit and he was first to meet Ms. Kumaratunge Tuesday and then to go to Kilinochchi Wednesday to meet LTTE leadership, earlier reports said.

As Ms.Kumaratunge has been in Kandy, capital of the central province, holding discussions with ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentary group including Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarians since Monday, she has not yet returned to Colombo Tuesday evening, Colombo media sources said.

Her meeting with the ruling parliamentary group in which JVP is a major constituent has been considered in Colombo political circles as a crucial in terms of the forthcoming peace talks, party sources said.

Ms. Kumaratunge and the leaders of her allied political parties are trying to find a common ground on all key national issues, on top of the list is peace and a date for talks, said a Sri Lanka government source.

The Kandy talks gain prominence in political circles as the JVP has taken a strong stand against the Norwegian facilitation and the acceptance of the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamils, sources said

The JVP has said except Ms. Kumaratunge and her party SLFP, all other parties in the UPFA are against recognizing the LTTE as the sole representatives of Tamils and holding peace talks on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), sources said.

 

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