Kumaratunga says no paramilitaries with Sri Lanka army

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 February 2005, 07:17 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga told Norwegian special peace envoy Mr. Eric Solheim that there aren’t any paramilitaries working with the Sri Lankan armed forces, according to a press release by the Presidential Secretariat Friday. The Liberation Tigers say that Colombo had committed to disarm paramilitaries working with the Sri Lankan armed forces in the island’s northeast under the terms of the cease fire agreement (CFA) it signed with them three years ago. The statement said that Mr. Solheim conveyed to Ms Kumaratunge LTTE’s concern regarding the implementation of Article 1.8 of the CFA in relation to disarming of paramilitary groups when he met her Thursday in Colombo.

The statement also said the President had expressed her government’s commitment to discuss “a working arrangement with the LTTE for the equitable allocation and implementation of post-tsunami aid”.

The following is the full text of the press release:

“President Chandrika Kumaratunga received the Special Advisor of the Royal Norwegian Government Erik Solheim at President's House on Thursday, 24th February.

Mr. Solheim briefed the President on his discussions with Anton Balasingham in London earlier this month and on his meeting with LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi on Tuesday, 22 February. Mr. Solheim conveyed to the President concerns expressed by Mr. Thamilchelvan on the killing of Kausalyan and the implementation of Article 1.8 of the Ceasefire Agreement in relation to the disarming of paramilitary groups.

He also conveyed the readiness of the LTTE to continue discussions on a working arrangement for the allocation and implementation of post-tsunami aid.

The President, while unreservedly condemning the killing of Kausalyan, LTTE's political leader for Batticaloa - Ampara and five others by unidentified persons on 7th February, emphatically rejected the suggestion that there are any paramilitary forces operating in association with the Sri Lankan security forces. She deplored the killing of a Sri Lankan soldier and the injury of another by the LTTE on the third anniversary of the CFA.

The President also reiterated the sincere commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a working arrangement with the LTTE for the equitable allocation and implementation of post-tsunami aid.

Mr. Solheim was accompanied by Ambassador Hans Brattskar the Norwegian envoy to Sri Lanka and other Norwegian officials. Associated with the President were SG of the Peace Secretariat Jayantha Dhanapala, and Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Palihakkara and other officials”.


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