Nimal Sripala de Silva and SP Tamilselvan will be leading the delegations of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE respectively at the peace talks to be held in Geneva on October 28 and 29.
The government's delegation will comprise Nimal Sripala de Silva (Minister for Health); Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (Minister of Consumer Affairs and a Tamil speaker); Rohitha Bogollagama (Minister for Investment Promotion), Ferial Ashraff (Minister for Eastern Development and the Muslim representative); former Inpector General of Police Chandra Fernando and some legal and security experts.
Nimal Sripala de Silva is a political moderate and an experienced politician. He was in the team during the last talks too.
The LTTE's team will comprise, SP Tamiselvan (Head Political Wing); S Puleedevan (Secretary General LTTE Peace Secretariat); S Nadesan, rebel Police chief; and Elilan, Eastern political wing chief.
Since issues relating to the Eastern districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai will figure in the talks prominently, especially in the context of the Supreme Court's order de-merging the Northern and Eastern provinces, both teams have included representatives of the East.
Since the LTTE's ideologue and chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, is not well, the team is expected to be assisted by the Siva Pasupathi, a former Attorney General of Sri Lanka (now an Australian national), and V Rudrakumaran a US-based Tamil lawyer.
In 2003, Siva Pasupathi had drafted the LTTE's Interim Self Governing Authroity (ISGA) proposal. Confederal in nature, the ISGA was rejected by the then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, though Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was ready to take it up at the peace talks.
The Geneva talks have been arranged by the peace broker Norway with the help of the Swiss government.