Peace talks ´not ruled out´

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 August 1999, 13:36 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government will not rule out talks with the Liberation Tigers said Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar addressing a press conference today at his ministry in Colombo.

The Foreign minister and the commander of the Sri Lankan security forces in the Vanni, Maj. Gen.Lionel Balagalle, briefed members of the diplomatic corps about the situation in the north earlier in the day.

They had reportedly appraised the diplomats about the unresolved issue of supplying food to the Vanni and the opening of an access route to those parts of the region held by the Liberation Tigers.

Mr.Kadirgamar said that the possibility of starting negotiations with the Tigers will depend on the mood of the people.

"Incidents like the bombing of the Dalada Maligawa and the killing of Dr.Neelan Thiruchelvam push the possibility back. But there are times when there is a public mood in favour of talks. I would not rule out the possibility of talks" he said.

The foreign minister added that he was that a day would come when the Tigers themselves might come forward for negotiations.

The Liberation Tigers said last November that they are prepared for peace talks with the assistance of a suitable third party mediator.

The Sri Lankan government has rejected the use of a mediator, saying the island's conflict is an "internal matter".

 

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