3 conditions for talks
Any future peace talks with the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will hinge on its leader,
Velupillai Prabhakaran, agreeing in writing or verbally
to three major conditions, a Government spokesman said
Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella
told The Sunday Times that the three conditions were:
- A specific time frame should be
provided by the LTTE to resume and conclude peace
- The LTTE should give an assurance
to the international community and Donor Co-chairs
of the peace process that it will not use sea routes
to smuggle into Sri Lanka any military hardware.
- The LTTE should make a commitment
that it would not resort to any violence during the
period of the peace talks.
Mr. Rambukwella hinted that if the
LTTE did not agree to these conditions of the Government,
the dialogue with it would be at stake. This is when
he said that "if they (the LTTE) don't pay heed,
we will have to fall back on the process we have already
set in motion - the All-Party Conference, the All-Party
Representative Committee and the Panel of Experts -
to formulate a settlement to the ethnic issue".
He said the Government would arrive
at a formula after due consultation and implement it.
This was becoming more salutary since there was increasing
co-operation between the political parties now.
Commenting on the LTTE's offer of
unconditional talks if the Government halted what it
called its military offensive, Mr. Rambukwella said,
"we have not resorted to any offensive action.
The security forces are only defending themselves against
the military actions of the LTTE."
He pointed out that a firm commitment
must come from Mr. Prabhakaran and not from the LTTE's
Political Wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan or others. "He
(Mr. Thamilselvan) and the others have made pledges
before but have gone back on them," he added.
conveyed to Norway's Special Envoy
Jon Hanssen Bauer who arrives in Colombo today.
Mr. Bauer, who will be in Sri Lanka
for a week is to hold talks beginning tomorrow with
Government leaders. He is to fly to Kilinochchi on Tuesday.
There he is expected to convey to the LTTE leadership
the conditions placed by the Government and obtain a