LTTE leader calls for Norwegian engagement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 January 2002, 12:08 GMT]
Mr Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of the Liberation Tigers has written to the Norwegian Prime Minister Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik, calling for Norway’s continuous engagement as the facilitator between the LTTE and the new Sri Lanka government to find a peaceful settlement to the ethnic conflict. In a press release, the LTTE said Wednesday that Mr. Pirapaharan also complimented the Royal Norwegian Government for its impartial and neutral approach in the facilitatory process. The statement also said a Norwegian delegation headed by Mr Helgeson, the Deputy Foreign Minister, will meet Mr Anton Balasingham, the official spokesman and chief negotiator for the LTTE in London on 4 January.

The below is the text of the press release:

Mr Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a letter addressed to the Norwegian Prime Minister Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik, called for Norway’s continuous engagement as the facilitator between the LTTE and the new Sri Lanka government to find a peaceful settlement to the ethnic conflict.

The Tamil Tiger leader also complimented the Royal Norwegian Government for its impartial and neutral approach in the facilitatory process. The following is the text of the letter addressed to Mr Bondevik on 1 January 2002:

"Dear Prime Minister,

"To begin with, allow me to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation of the indefatigable effort and valuable assistance provided by the Royal Norwegian Government over the past two and a half years to promote a negotiated political settlement to the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka. I also wish to commend the Norwegian government for its impartiality and objective neutrality shown in the delicate practice of facilitation. Such a noble approach is widely appreciated by the Tamils in Tamil Eelam as well as by the Tamils living throughout the world.

"I am writing this letter to you to seek your government’s continuous engagement as the facilitator to help to find a stable peace and a permanent settlement to the ethnic conflict."

A Norwegian delegation headed by Mr Helgeson the Deputy Foreign Minister will meet Mr Anton Balasingham, the official spokesman and chief negotiator for the LTTE in London on 4 January. Mr Erik Solheim and Ms Kjersti Tromsdal will also participate at the meeting. The Norwegian delegation will discuss the latest political developments in Sri Lanka and explore ways and means of advancing the peace process.

 

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