Tigers say discussing Norway ceasefire proposals

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 May 2001, 09:30 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers, in an official statement released in the Vanni Friday, slammed Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister for claiming that an agreement had been reached between the two sides. “It is premature and irresponsible on the part of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry to falsely project to the world media that an agreement has been reached,” the Tigers said. However the movement also said “substantial progress” had been made on the Norwegian Memorundum of Understanding (MOU) after intense discussions for a considerable time with the Norwegian facilitators. The LTTE said Norway had Wednesday suggested a programme for bilateral cessation of hostilities which the movement said was “constructive” proposal, but which requires “further clarifications and discussions before final agreement.”

The full text of the LTTE statement follows:

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka today, denied emphatically the claim made by Sri Lanka that an agreement had been reached between the Tamil Tigers and the Government on ‘several matters’.

“We regret to note that the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, in a press release, stated that an agreement has been reached between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. This claim is based on a letter written by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mr. Laksman Kadirgamar to the Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Jagland. We wish to deny emphatically that any agreement has been reached so far on any issues”, the LTTE’s statement said.

“We are still discussing several issues but these discussions have not yet been formalised and finalised into an agreement between the parties in conflict. It is premature and irresponsible on the part of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry to falsely project to the world media that an agreement has been reached”, the Tiger’s statement declared.

“We wish to state that substantial progress has been made on the Norwegian proposal of the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ after intense discussions for a considerable time with the Norwegian facilitators. This Norwegian project, which calls for goodwill measures of mutual reciprocity, aims at de-escalation of the conflict and the creation of a congenial atmosphere conducive for talks. We hope an agreement can be reached soon on the Norwegian proposal after further discussions and clarifications on certain matters. The Norwegian facilitators have also suggested a programme for bilateral cessation of hostilities. It was only last Wednesday 8th May, that the proposal was submitted to our chief negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham. We consider this as a constructive proposal, which requires further clarifications and discussions before final agreement, is reached. Though normalisation of civilian life in the Tamil homeland and cessation of armed hostilities are crucial for the resumption of peace negotiations, we have also called upon the Sri Lanka Government through the Norwegian facilitators to lift the ban on our liberation organisation so that we can participate in the peace negotiations as the authentic political organisation representing the people of Tamil Eelam”, the LTTE’s statement concluded.

 

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