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Conditions for HSZ withdrawal
The Security 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.

However, for 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 Fonseka feels there should be an assurance the LTTE would ensure its members are disarmed and its artillery/mortars withdrawn.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).

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