‘Indian Minister’s visit to SL historic’ - Peiris

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 August 2003, 18:56 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government’s cabinet spokesman, Mr. G.L.Peiris, said Thursday that the proposed visit of the Indian Foreign Minister, Mr.Yaswant Sinha, to Colombo next week would be 'historic.' Replying to a question at the weekly press briefing, Mr.Peiris, who is also the government’s Chief negotiator in the peace talks, said that there would not be any problem in obtaining Indian assistance to the present peace process, media sources said.

According to these sources, the LTTE is to hold discussions with its constitutional experts and legal advisors regarding the interim administrative structure proposal submitted by the United National Front government in Paris, capital of France, from August 21 to 27, said Mr.Peiris.

Mr Peiris in reply to question dismissed as totally baseless reports in a section of the local press that the Sri Lankan government was to bring foreign peacekeeping forces into the country.

The French government has informed Colombo that it has made the necessary arrangements to host the LTTE deliberations in Paris, Mr.Peiris said.

Mr.Peiris said that the LTTE would submit its response to the Sri Lankan government three weeks after it concluded Paris talks on the IA proposal.

He expressed confidence that it would be possible to resume the peace talks, stalled since April this year, by the end of September, sources said.

On the Kurankupanchan LTTE camp issue, Mr. Peiris said that the UNF government’s view has been conveyed to the LTTE through the Norwegian special peace envoy. He added that the LTTE camp had been constructed in the government-controlled area.

He said both parties to the ceasefire agreement should adhere to the determination of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in any controversial issue, and he said that according to the SLMM, the LTTE has not made a final decision on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, Major General Lohan Gunawardene, said at the press briefing that the SLA has no plan to remove LTTE camp by using force because it would derail the peace process.

The Army’s top officer further said that a 30% salary increase has been proposed to army soldiers of all ranks. He said the SLA would recruit another batch of 4000 soldiers and the interviews for the recruiting are to be held from August 18, the media reports said.

 

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