Balasingham to arrive in the Wanni today

By Zacki Jabbar
The LTTE’s chief negotiator Anton Balasingham is scheduled to arrive in the Wanni today to prepare for Norwegian brokered peace talks with the government expected to commence by the middle of this year.

Political sources said that Balasingham’s chartered sea plane from the Maldives is expected to land close to one of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s bases in the Wanni.

Government sources said that they expect "talks on talks" to commence by April/May. Balasingham who lives in London will not be permitted to fly through Colombo because the LTTE is still a banned organisation the sources said.

Balasingham has repeatedly requested that peace talks be held in India or some Asian country close to Sri Lanka since it would be convenient for him to liase with his leader Velupillai Prabhakaran while also seeking regular medical treatment for a serious kidney ailment.

The sources did not rule out Balasingham being permitted to seek treatment in Sri Lanka itself Tamil political sources said that Balasingham while in the Wanni will be housed in an air conditioned apartment considering the humid conditions in the region which would adversely affect his health.

With India ruling out hosting peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE , Maldives and Thailand have been mentioned as possible venues but the government remains non committal.