|Thursday, 23 September 2004|
|Security||Today's Top Story|
by Ranil Wijayapala
The Sri Lanka Army at a meeting held with LTTE leaders in Batticaloa yesterday categorically denied any involvement in the killings of LTTE cadres either in the Government controlled areas or in the LTTE controlled areas.
The first meeting between the Security Forces and the LTTE in the Batticaloa and Ampara areas was held yesterday after a lapse of nearly three months to discuss the security situation in the East under the Chairmanship of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Chief Trond Furuhovde at the Vavunativu Divisional Secretariat.
Military Spokesman Colonel Sumedha Perera told the Daily News that the Security Forces explained to the LTTE delegation headed by Batticaloa Ampara Political leader Kausalyan that the LTTE should make their own inquiries before pointing fingers at the Security Forces for the killing of LTTE cadres.
Brigadier Vajira Wijegunawardene who headed the Security Forces delegation has told the LTTE that they should conduct search operations in the LTTE controlled and find out if any Security Forces personnel are involved in the attacks on LTTE cadres in their areas.
He has said the Sri Lankan Forces strictly confined themselves to the Government controlled areas and the LTTE cannot hold the Security Forces responsible for the incidents taking place in the LTTE controlled areas.
Brigadier Vajira Wijegunawardene has also urged the LTTE to enter into Government controlled areas in an organised manner as they used to enter the Government controlled areas in small groups in an unorganised manner.
The Security Forces have urged SLMM Chief Trond Furuhovde to get the participation of LTTE military leaders at these meetings since there was no point in having such meetings without their participation.
The LTTE Special Commander for Batticaloa and Ampara Bhanu or military leaders Jeyanthan or Ramanan did not participate at yesterday's meeting. However, the two parties agreed to meet twice a month to discuss the security situation in the area.
The joint statement issued by the two parties following the meeting said: "A meeting was held yesterday between the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE representatives and their delegations. The meeting took place in the Divisional Secretariat of Vavunathivu on Wednesday 22nd September at 1030 hrs. Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Major General Trond Furuhovde, chaired the meeting.
The agenda: How to strengthen the relationship and co-operation between the parties. The meeting was conducted in a cordial and pleasant atmosphere. The parties agreed to meet twice a month to establish effective procedures on the ground to combat violence.
The parties also agreed to communicate on a regular basis to enable sharing of information, and quick reactions during incidents. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 6, 2004.
The parties remains committed to and agree to focus and strengthen the ceasefire agreement entered into between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on February 22, 2002.
The delegation from GOSL consisted of Brigadier Vajira Wijeyagoonewardena, GOC 23rd Division, Sri Lanka Army, Col. Laksiri Amaratunga, 233 Brigade, Batticaloa, Mr. Keeragala, Acting SSP, Batticaloa, Mr. Jamaldeen, Police, Batticaloa, Mr. Ratnayake, SSP, STF, Batticaloa, Mr. de Silva, STF, Batticaloa.
The delegation from LTTE consisted of Mr. Kausaliyan, Head of Political Wing, Batticaloa and Ampara district, Mr. Mashel, Chief Secretariat, Batticaloa, Mr. Thayamohan, Head Administration Office, Batticaloa and Ampara, Mr. Kuyilinpan, Political Area Leader, Ampara, and Mr. F. Manoj, secretary to Head of Political Wing Batticaloa and Ampara districts.
The SLMM delegation consisted of Head of SLMM, Major General Trond Furuhovde, Steen Jorgensen, Acting Head of SLMM District Office Batticaloa, and Mr. Jens Vang, Acting Head of SLMM District Office Batticaloa and delegates.
Produced by Lake House