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
“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
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.