No talks with Lanka team in Oslo: LTTE

Tigers have clarified that the Oslo meet is only on the role of the ceasefire monitors, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 17:48 IST

At the June 8 and 9 talks in Oslo, on the role of the Nordic truce monitors in Sri Lanka, the LTTE will not interact with the Sri Lankan government's delegation, according to a report in the Tamil daily Sudar Oli on Thursday.

In an Oslo-datelined story, the paper quoted the leader of the LTTE's delegation, SP Tamilselvan, as saying that the Oslo meeting was only on the role of the truce monitors, and that it could not be mistaken for talks with the Sri Lankan government.

Tamilselvan also complained that the Sri Lankan government's delegation was purely an official one, with no political representatives.

The delegation is led by an official, Dr Palitha Kohona, Director General of the Government Peace Secretariat.

"We do not intend to conduct talks with such a delegation. At any rate, we do not have the sanction of our leadership to do so," Tamilselvan said.

He further said that among the issues that the LTTE would take up at the talks, was the role of those member countries of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which had banned the LTTE.

The reference was to Sweden, Denmark and Finland, which, being part of the European Union (EU), had banned LTTE recently.

The LTTE felt that members of the SLMM from these countries could not be neutral, Tamilselvan said.

If the LTTE sticks to its guns on this issue, the Norwegian facilitators would have to find substitutes for Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Both the parties to the conflict will have to agree to the composition of the SLMM. Therefore, finding substitutes is not going to be easy.

Shadow war goes on despite Oslo talks

But even as representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE were preparing to address the issue of truce monitoring at Oslo, mine attacks continued back in Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, 10 civilians were killed and 14 were injured when a pressure mine went off at Nedunkal village, near Vadamunai in an LTTE-held part of the eastern district of Batticaloa.

Among the dead were a 6-month-old child and an 11-year-old boy and among the wounded were three kids, including a-month-old baby.

The victims were traveling in a tractor, which went over the mine.

The pro-LTTE website Tamilnet said that it was the handiwork of a deep penetration unit of the Sri Lankan Army.

Military sources however said that it could be the work of the Karuna group, which was but a faction of the LTTE.

Vadamunai is close to Welikanda, where the breakaway LTTE group led by Karuna, operates from.

On Tuesday, a claymore mine, set off within 50 metres of the Sri Lankan naval base at Ragama, 11 kms north of Colombo, damaged a public transport bus and injured the driver and conductor.

The Sri Lankan military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe, who blamed the LTTE for the blast, said that the LTTE might have been wanting to blast a naval bus.

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 17:34 IST