Peace dividend delay eroding Tamils' faith in talks – Col. Karuna

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 February 2003, 16:10 GMT]
“There has been no development work in the northeast so far despite one year of peace. Our people find this disappointing; and it has eroded their confidence in the peace process,” said Col. Karuna, senior commander of the Liberation Tigers, speaking to presspersons Friday at the conclusion of the second round of discussions on ceasefire violations, human rights and Muslim affairs between the Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE in Vavunathivu, five kilometres northwest of Batticaloa town.

"We pointed this out at today’s meeting. The representatives of the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) said the matter would be considered at the next round of talks in Japan. Their response was satisfactory and encouraging," added Karuna.

Col.Karuna“The participation of a UNICEF representative was the important aspect of today’s meeting. We explained to the UNICEF the travails of Tamil children affected by war. As a result, the UNICEF has agreed to hold a workshop in Kokkaddicholai on problems facing children here. Plans would be drawn up to improve their lot and to set up training programs following the proposed workshop”, he said.

“Six of our members were arrested at sea in Trincomalee by the Sri Lankan forces and are being detained. This matter has to be resolved”, Col. Karuna added.

The LTTE delegation, led by Col. Karuna, comprised Mr. T. Ramesh, the special commander for Batticaloa-Amparai District, the head of the Tigers’ Medical Division in the District Mr. S. Vaaman and Mr. Varathan.

Speaking to the press, Mr. Austin Fernando, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, said wide ranging and useful issues about the development in the northeast were discussed at the meeting. He said it was decided to take up the Muslim question before the talks in Japan next month.

In GOSL team, Mr. Fernando was assisted by Senior Superintendent of Police (ret) Mr. Abdul Majeed.

Outgoing head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Maj. Gen. (ret) Trond Furhovde presided.

The new head of the SLMM Maj.Gen (ret) Tryggve Tellefsen was also present at the discussion and met the LTTE team.

Karuna Meeting

 

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