Balasingham to visit Vanni next week

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 April 2003, 20:41 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Chief Negotiator and Political Advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, will return to Vanni next week for deliberations with the LTTE leadership on the Norwegian peace process and related matters, sources said Tuesday. Mr. Balasingham is expected to be in Vanni when Japan’s peace envoy, Mr. Yasushi Akashi and the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Mr. Jan Petersen visit the Vanni separately in early May, the sources said.

Mr. Balasingham’s return to the Vanni this weekend would probably follow the delivery of the Sri Lankan government’s formal response to the LTTE’s suspension last week of direct talks between the two sides, in protest at Colombo’s failure to implement crucial aspects of the ceasefire and other agreements reached in six months of talks.

The LTTE has also protested at its exclusion from an international aid conference in Washington on April 14, a precursor to a major donor conference to be held in Japan in June.

Mr. Akashi, Japan’s peace envoy, is to visit Sri Lanka in a few days for discussions with both sides. He is expected to meet with the LTTE leadership on May 7 to discuss the aid conference, sources close to the LTTE said.

Mr. Petersen is expected to visit Sri Lanka later and meet the LTTE in the second week of May, the sources added. The Norwegian FM’s earlier scheduled visit was postponed due to the war in Iraq, the sources said.

Hakone meet
Japan’s peace envoy Mr. Yasushi Akashi pictured escorting Mr. Anton Balasingham to the negotiation room at the sixth round of talks held in Hakone, Japan in March. (Photo Alex/LTTE)

 

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