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SL sets conditions for talks with LTTE

Lankan Govt seeks a mechanism to curb LTTE, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2006 23:45 IST
PK Balachandran
PK Balachandran

The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday demanded that the international community put in place a "practical mechanism" toprevent the LTTE from using the period of peace talks to illegally procure arms.

Stating its conditions for peace talks with the LTTE, in the context of an appeal made by the international community from Brussels on Tuesday, the government said that it was important to note that the peace process in Sri Lanka was beingconducted between a democratically elected government of a sovereign state and an armed group practicing terrorism.

It had been the experience in the past that the LTTE had always used peace talks as a period to enhance its military capabilities, a statement from the Government Peace Secretariat said.

The Government hoped that the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Aid Sri Lanka Conference, namely, the US, EU, Japan and Norway, and Facilitator Norway, would do the utmost to ensure that the past practices of the LTTE were not repeated in this instance.

"In this regard, the Government would urge the international community to put in place a practical mechanism to prevent the illegal procurement of arms and an effective blockade to the induction of weapons by the LTTE," the statement said.

"This is an essential element to ensure a successful progression towards a political settlement," it stressed.

The government said that these concerns having been expressed, it remained committed to participating in peace talks with the LTTE.

However, the specific modalities relating to dates and venue must bediscussed and agreed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Facilitator, it added.

First Published: Sep 13, 2006 01:34 IST