Norway, LTTE discuss talks agenda

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 October 2002, 09:40 GMT]
The Norwegian delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Vidar Helgesen met with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers Wednesday and held two and a half hours of discussions on "crucial issues pertaining to the formation of the joint task force" for economic development and reconstruction of the northeast, sources in Vanni said. Issues underlying the high security zones (HSZ) and the security situation in the northeast were also discussed, they said.

Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan, the LTTE leader headed the movement’s delegation. He was accompanied by Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE’s chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, head of the LTTE’s political wing, and Mrs Adele Balasingham, Secretary to the LTTE’s negotiating team.

LTTE delegation

Mr. Helgesen was accompanied by Mr. Erik Solheim, special advisor to Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lisa Michelsen Golden, advisor to the same ministry, Mr. Jon Westborg, Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, and Mr. Hans Battskar, an official from Norwegian foreign ministry.

Norwegian delegation

The structure and mechanism of the Joint Task Force (JTF) as well as the agenda for the next round of direct talks between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government, scheduled to be held in Thailand next week were discussed, at the meeting which started at 9.30am Wednesday and concluded at noon.

The security situation in the northeast and the issues underlying the high security zones (HSZ) established by the Sri Lankan military there were also discussed.

The establishment of the JTF as well as a Joint Committee to deal with the issues relating to HSZs were agreed at the first round of direct talks between the two sides in mid-September.

Helgesen & Prabakaran

The Norwegian delegation arrived in Vanni Tuesday evening by road, through Muhamalai, having visited the northern Jaffna peninsula in the morning, sources said.

Mr. Helegesen and his team were met by Mr. Anton Balasingham, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan and Mrs Adele Balasingham at the LTTE’s political headquarters in Kilinochchi.

In a separate meeting Tuesday, the head of the international ceasefire monitors in Sri Lanka, Major General Trond Furuhovde, and his deputy, Brigadier General Hagrup Haukland met with Mr. Pirapaharan. Another official of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Mr. Petter Nuland, also attended. Mr. Furuhovde was accompanied by his wife.

Mr. Pirapaharan was accompanied by Mr. Anton Balasingham, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan and Mrs Adele Balasingham.

Maj. Gen. Furuhovde’s delegation arrived in Kilinochchi by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter shortly before noon, sources said.

Norwegian delegation meets LTTE leader


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