Negotiations to resume soon - LTTE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 March 2002, 12:14 GMT]
Political negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers will resume soon when the terms and conditions of the permanent ceasefire agreement between the two sides are implemented and conditions of normalcy are restored in the Tamil homeland, LTTE sources told TamilNet Tuesday.

The Liberation Tigers agreed to resume peace talks with the Sri Lankan government when a top level LTTE delegation, lead by the movement’s leader, Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan, met Norwegian peace envoys and senior officials of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) tasked with supervising the permanent truce, they said.

Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE’s chief negotiator and political strategist and Mr. Thamil Chelvan, head of the organisation’s political wing assisted Mr. Pirapaharan in the discussions.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jon Westborg, the Special Advisor to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Mr. Erik Solheim, the head of the SLMM, Mr. Trond Furohovde and a Finnish official of the SLMM participated in the talks.

The officials had arrived in Kilinochchi by helicopter on Monday, and stayed overnight after initial talks with Mr. ThamilChelvan and Mr. Balasingham.

The LTTE leadership insisted on the deproscription of the organisation as a prerequisite for the commencement of serious dialogue, the sources said.

The Tamil Tigers expressed disappointment over the delay in implementation of certain terms and conditions of the truce agreement, the sources told TamilNet.

The Sri Lankan government has agreed, according to the Norwegians, to open the A9 highway from Jaffna to Vanni on April 8th, the sources said. It was also agreed that the field military commanders of both parties to the conflict will perform the opening ceremonies. Modalities with regards to the repair and maintenance of the highway were also discussed.

There will be another round of dialogue between the LTTE leadership and the Norwegian facilitators when Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister visits the Vanni on April 17th, the sources said.

 

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