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Akashi-LTTE talks fail

The Japanese peace envoy had gone to Kilinochchi to persuade LTTE to resume talks, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 17:18 IST

Talks between the Japanese Special Peace Envoy, Yasushi Akashi, and the LTTE's political wing leader, SP Tamilselvan, held in Kilinochchi on Tuesday, have failed.

After meeting the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Colombo on Monday, Akashi had gone to Kiliniochchi to persuade the LTTE to come for a second round of peace talks in Geneva.

Rajapaksa told the Japanese envoy that his government was ready for talks, and asked him to persuade the LTTE to come to the negotiating table.

But Tamilselvan told Akashi bluntly, that the existing conditions in the Tamil-speaking North-East were not at all conducive for the resumption of talks.

According to the pro-LTTE Tamil language websites www.sankathi.com and www.puthinam.com Tamilselvan told Akashi that the LTTE could not go for talks so long as the Sri Lankan armed forces and their "Tamil paramilitaries" continued to kill Tamil civilians.

He charged that between the first round of talks in Geneva in February and now, 148 Tamils had been killed by the Sri Lankan forces and their Tamil paramilitaries.

Roads leading to the LTTE-controlled areas were closed, causing great inconvenience to the common people, he said.

The LTTE's political commissar said that the Sri Lankan government was preventing the organisation's Eastern commanders from traveling to the North in safety to attend a crucial Central Committee meeting.

The government had unilaterally abrogated a four-year old system for the transportation of senior LTTE cadres, he charged.

No ceasefire

"There is no ceasefire in the Tamil areas now. There is a war-like situation," Tamilselvan said.

"The Tamils' national war has been set in motion by the Sri Lankan armed forces."

"Young Tamil men and women are being killed in the government-controlled areas and people are moving to safer areas."

"Very soon, the LTTE will have to take a decision to protect the people. It is already rallying the people and taking all steps to protect them," Tamilselvan said.

" The Tamils are not against peace and a peaceful settlement. All they want is an honourable peace with the right to live in freedom and in safety in their homeland," he clarified.

He appealed to the international community to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop its provocative acts and create normalcy on the ground so that talks could be resumed.

He recalled that the international community had declared some states like Sudan as terrorist states and had put pressure on them to stop extra-judicial killings.

Tamilselvan said that Akashi had not brought any new message from the Sri Lankan government.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, MPs belonging to the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) went on a sit-in strike outside the Sri Lankan parliament in to protest against alleged "extra-judicial" killings by the Sri Lankan armed forces and its "Tamil paramilitaries."

First Published: May 09, 2006 19:41 IST