LTTE should know we have ‘powerful friends‘– GL

The government said yesterday that this week’s US statement urging the LTTE to stick to the ongoing truce showed the Tigers that the government had "powerful friends."

Minister G.L. Peiris, government spokesman, said that the issuing of the statement was a "significant event" particularly as the US was the most powerful country in the world.

"The US told the LTTE very clearly that she had been following developments in this country and that she had credible reports the LTTE were recruiting child soldiers and bring in arms," Peiris recapped. "The US explained to the LTTE that if they broke the cease-fire, the consequences would be extreme against the backdrop of an international thrust against terrorism." "This shows that we have powerful friends," he stressed. "It is an enormous source of strength to the government and the people."

Meanwhile, Peiris admitted that LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham may visit the organisation’s leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in Sri Lanka before face-to-face negotiations commence. He was reacting to media reports that Balasingham was scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka.

"Sometimes, Mr. Balasingham may have to meet Prabharakan," he said. "But there is no decision on when he will come. They have not informed the government but there would be no problem."

The normal procedure would be to inform the government, Peiris elaborated.(NW)