Establish ISGA, appeals Jaffna Peoples Forum

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 June 2004, 00:40 GMT]
Tamil Speaking Peoples Forum for Human Rights and Development based in Jaffna Wednesday appealed to the President Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunge to initiate bold step of recommencing negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to establish the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) which could handle all development and reconstruction projects in the northeast province.

Details of the letter sent to Ms Kumaratunge by the Co-ordinator of the forum, Mr.C.V.K.Sivagnanam follows:

"At a conference held on May 26th, the Director General of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation Mr.Harim Peiris said negotiations and development will move in parallel. This statement is very regrettable and disappointing. It is contrary to the aspirations of Tamil speaking people and to the provisions of the Tokyo Declaration on Reconstruction and Development issued on 10th June last year.

"The following is a specific and relevant sentence in the Tokyo Declaration:

"The conference encourages the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the LTTE to enter discussions as early as possible on a provisional administrative structure to manage the reconstruction and development aspects of the transition process.

"It is clear from the above that development too has to be handled by a provisional administrative structure. As such the move by the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation would defeat the very objective of reconciliation and throws serious doubts on Sri Lanka government's commitment towards a negotiated settlement with the LTTE.

"It could be seen as a step to sideline the ISGA proposals of the LTTE. This also disregards the overwhelming mandate given to the Tamil national Alliance (TNA) in the April 2nd parliamentary elections.

"Development programmes have to be drawn up by the leaders and representatives of the people and not by bureaucrats or anyone from outside.

"We therefore appeal to you initiate a bold step of recommencing negotiations with the LTTE to establish the ISGA which could handle all development and reconstruction programs in the northeast," said the letter sent to Ms Kumaratunge.


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