Front Page


Peace talks
Dispute over agenda
Further delay in Thai talks
By Our Political Editor
Conflicting positions between the Government and the LTTE over the agenda for upcoming peace talks have set a poser for peace talks in Thailand. The LTTE wants its demand for an interim administration to be the agenda for the first phase of the peace talks. However, the government has made it clear that the question of an interim administration should be listed in the agenda together with all other core issues which the peace talks will focus on resolving.

Divergent positions of the Government and the LTTE emerged during the July 27 talks between Minister Milinda Moragoda and LTTE Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham.

The two-hour talks were held in the Norwegian Embassy in London in the presence of Norwegian facilitators Vidar Helgesson, Deputy Foreign Minister, negotiator Erik Solheim and Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jon Westborg.

The Sunday Times has learnt from highly placed government sources that Dr. Balasingham insisted the LTTE demand for an interim administration should be discussed first at the proposed Thailand talks. However, Minister Moragoda has said it was the UNF government's position that the subject of an interim administration should be listed with all other core issues in the agenda for peace talks.

According to these sources, Dr. Balasingham's response to the government's position was to explain the logistical difficulties the LTTE would encounter if all issues were listed in the agenda. He has argued that members of the Tamil diaspora in various countries had been called upon to take part when the core issues were discussed. Putting all of them together would entail serious logistical problems, he has said.

Political analysts say that until this crucial issue is resolved, a date for the Thailand peace talks will remain in suspense. According to them, both the government and the LTTE were emphatic on their own positions relating to the talks agenda. They believe the resultant situation may delay the peace talks even beyond September.

The deadline for time frames enshrined in the ceasefire agreement ended last Friday allowing both the government and the LTTE to take stock of the situation.

Other thorny issues awaiting resolution before talks is the LTTE demand to allow civilians to re-settle in the high security zone encompassing the Security Forces Headquarters in Palaly and freedom of movement for Tiger guerrilla boats in the North Eastern seas.

Back to Top
 Back to Front Page  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.