|Thursday, 26 August 2004|
SLMM renews efforts to resume talks
by Ranil Wijayapala
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) yesterday said it will intensify efforts to bring together the security forces and the LTTE to resume talks at ground level in the East to end killings specially in Batticaloa and Ampara districts.
SLMM Spokesman Oskar Solnes told the Daily News yesterday that SLMM Chief Major General (Rtd) Trond Furhovde offered his personal mediation to commence talks at ground level when he met LTTE Political Wing Leader S. P. Thamilselvan in Kilinochchi.
He said the SLMM Chief took the issue of the killings in the East with the LTTE representatives in Kilinochchi and asserted that the only way for solving the issue was to recommence talks between the Security Forces and the LTTE at ground level.
The pro-LTTE Tamilnet website reported that Thamilselvan has told the SLMM Chief that they would not resume meeting the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the East until the killings of their cadres in the region are stopped.
"At the initial level there was no opposition for the recommencement of talks from the LTTE," Solnes added.
The SLMM spokesman said the SLMM hopes to recommence talks separately with the parties at ground level and to bring them together to discuss matters under SLMM facilitation.
"We hope the two parties will respond positively in the coming weeks," Solnes added.
The LTTE decided to withdraw from meetings with the Security Forces in June accusing them of harbouring the LTTE breakaway leader Karuna.
However, the LTTE representatives participated at a discussion with the Police Special Task Force at Akkaraipattu early this month to discuss the situation despite withdrawal from meetings with the Security Forces.
Produced by Lake House