Forces have offered a phased withdrawal from parts of the High Security
Zone in the Jaffna peninsula for civilian re-settlement if the LTTE
agrees to disarming of its cadres, withdraws artillery units and
mortars and allows Police full powers to operate in these areas.
The Sunday Times
learns these proposals have been made to the LTTE by Jaffna Security
Forces Commander, Major General Sarath Fonseka. The document containing
the proposals was handed over yesterday in Colombo to Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission Chief Trond Furhovde for onward transmission
to LTTE's "northern commander, Colonel Theepan."
At the second
meeting of the Sub Committee on De-escalation and Normalisation
(SDN) held at Muhamalai (Jaffna peninsula) on December 14, it was
agreed that Maj. Gen. Fonseka would deliver the proposals. According
to a Norwegian Embassy announcement, the proposals will thereafter
be discussed during a meeting between Maj. Gen. Fonseka and "Colonel"
Theepan. Jon Westborg, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, was
out of the country.
The Sunday Times
learns that Maj. Gen. Fonseka has offered for security forces to
initially vacate two areas in the High Security Zone -- one near
Keerimalai on the western outskirts of the Security Forces Headquarters
in Palaly and the other near Thanankilappu/Ariyalai sector, south
west of the Jaffna town.
security forces to give up this area, Maj. Gen. Fonseka feels there
should be an assurance the LTTE would ensure its members are disarmed
and its artillery/mortars withdrawn.
He also feels
that the Police who will take over law and order functions in the
areas the Security Forces will vacate should have the full powers
to search houses for weapons and other items. (See
Situation Report by Iqbal Athas).