ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20

Govt. to outline solution at talks with LTTE

The Government’s delegation for peace talks with the LTTE in Switzerland later this month is to be briefed on the outlines of a solution formulated by the All-Party Representative Committee (APRC), Presidential sources said yesterday.

The briefing will take place next weekend before the delegation leaves for the October 28-29 talks in Switzerland. The delegation will also be given briefings on the security situation, law and humanitarian issues among other topics, the sources said.

“The outline of the recommendations made by the Panel of Experts appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the APRC will be considered useful for the peace talks as it will give an idea on the direction which the government is heading in resolving the ethnic issue,” a source at the President’s office said.

An outline of some of the issues which have been considered were officially released by the government yesterday, but the APRC Chairman Tissa Vitharana declined to elaborate on the issues.
Among the key issues which have come up for discussion are the payment of compensation to genuine land owners in High Security Zones and a gradual reduction in such zones on the basis of an effective and proper decommissioning exercise being carried out. Setting up of an upper house and two slots to be given to the minority community in seven key selected cabinet portfolios are among other proposals which have been discussed.

Lack of employment opportunities, ensuring that land alienation under colonization schemes is effected in a just manner and acceleration of development projects in the north and east have also been considered.

Meanwhile, international diplomatic efforts to the get peace talks on track will intensify in the coming days. Japan’s special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi is due in Colombo today while Norwegian peace envoy.Jon Hanssen-Bauer will arrive on Tuesday. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is also due in Colombo.

Both Mr. Akashi and Mr. Bauer will visit Kilinochchi for talks with the LTTE and Peace Secretariat Chief Palitha Kohona said yesterday the outcome was being awaited before finalizing the structure for the Switzerland talks.

LTTE spokesman Daya Master yesterday said that the LTTE was agreeable to have the talks either in Geneva or Oslo on October 28 and 29, but a decision would be taken after talks with Mr. Bauer.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.