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Govt. refuses to bow to LTTE threat

The Government yesterday rejected the LTTE’s demand for an unconditional resumption of talks and accused the Tigers of using "threatening language" to undermine the peace efforts.

"A call, couched in threatening language, from the LTTE for a resumption of negotiations without conditions, while setting conditions itself by insisting unilaterally on a single agenda item, is scarcely conducive to good-faith negotiations," a statement issued by the Government Information Department said.

It said that the Government has informed the LTTE, through the Norwegian facilitators, that it was ready to discus the "establishment of an interim authority to meet the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the people of the North and East as a priority, while exploring a permanent settlement along the lines of the document signed and accepted by the Government and the LTTE in Oslo."

The full text of the statement: "The Government is engaged in a careful study of the statement of the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam made on November 27.

The absence of direct negotiations since April 2003 is of no benefit to anyone and is unsustainable. Following its election to office in April this year, the UPFA Government has, therefore, made serious, sincere and consistent efforts to reopen talks with the LTTE. These efforts are well known to the people of Sri Lanka and to the International community.

A call, couched in threatening language, from the LTTE now for a resumption of negotiations without conditions, while setting conditions itself by insisting unilaterally on a single agenda item is scarcely conductive to good faith negotiations.

The Government of Sri Lanka has conveyed publicity, and through the kind facilitation of the Royal Norwegian Government, its readiness to discuss the establishment of an interim authority to meet the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the people of the North and East as a priority, while exploring a permanent settlement along the lines of the document signed and accepted by the Government and the LTTE in Oslo on December 5, 2002. It also remains firmly committed to the strict maintenance of the Ceasefire Agreement and condemns all violations and actions jeopardizing the prevailing ceasefire and which caused fear and thereby tensions among the civil population, leading to the undue rupture of the sensitive balance of ethnic groups presently maintained by the Government with the objective of safeguarding the ceasefire and taking the peace process forward.

The Government of Sri Lanka is in communication with the Royal Norwegian process."

 

 

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