looms over peace talks
The resumption of the peace talks
later this month was in the balance yesterday with the
LTTE declaring that the current military action may
force it to re-examine its decision to take part.
The move came as the head of the Government’s
peace delegation Nimal Siripala de Silva told The Sunday
Times that they were yet to receive a confirmation about
the resumption of talks.
A spokesman for the LTTE Peace Secretariat
in the Wanni said that on Friday the senior members
of the movement had discussed about the issue of taking
part in the talks, but had expressed their concerns
about the ongoing military action.
He said following the meeting LTTE
political wing leader S.P.Thamilselvan in a letter to
Norwegian Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer had expressed
their concerns about the military action.
The pro-LTTE Tamilnet also said the
LTTE had called on Norway to create a conducive environment
for the conduct of talks.
Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella
said the government had sent its response to issues
raised by the LTTE through the Norwegian facilitators
and was awaiting a response. He said that the government
had made its intentions clear to the Norwegians that
it wanted to discuss political issues at the talks which
were due to start later this month.
The government had agreed to hold
talks on October 28 and 29, but the two sides had not
agreed on the venue with the government favouring Switzerland
and the LTTE Oslo.
Mr. Rambukwella said the ongoing military
action would continue as long as the LTTE continued
its attacks on the security forces. “We have reserved
the right to carry out any defensive military action.
That is one of the important factors compared to previous
occasions when the two sides agreed to have talks,”