'NE conflict cannot be solved through talks' -Sihala Urumaya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 September 2003, 14:53 GMT]
At a press briefing held Thursday in Colombo, Mr.Tilak Karunaratne, the General Secretary of the Sinhala extremist political party, Sihala Urumaya (SU), said that in the SU's view, the northeast conflict could not be solved through negotiations, media sources said.

The SU demanded that the United National Front government issue a statement on the maximum political measures to be agreed upon and the powers to be devolved to solve the northeast conflict before the recommencement of the talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Mr. Karunaratne further said that his party is respecting and supporting the position taken by the Marxist and Sinhala Nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) on the northeast conflict.

The JVP has clearly stated that the present peace process should be abandoned, the Norwegian ceasefire monitors should be sent back to their homes, and the Norwegian facilitation should be withdrawn, political sources said.

"Presdient Chandrika Kumaratunge is holding conflicting opinions in relation to the LTTE. The failure to forge an alliance between the JVP and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was due to a small group of SLFP leaders who are very close to President Kumaratunge. Members of the SLFP should exert pressure on her to resume talks with the JVP to forge a political alliance to defeat the UNF government," said Mr.Karunaratne.

The national organizer of the SU, Mr.Champika Ranawake, said the Trincomalee harbour and its surrounding areas have become insecure due to the activities of the LTTE. He asked those who denied the existence of 13 new LTTE camps constructed after the signing of the ceasefire agreement to come with him to Trincomalee to see the situation, media sources said.


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