process back on track’ claims Professor Peiris
[April 30, 2003 - 10.00 GMT]
The Government said today
that it was happy the peace process was back on track, with the positive
re-opening of the line of communication between the LTTE and the Norwegians.
Prof. G.L. Peiris told a news briefing in Colombo that the Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremasinghe had replied LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham,
with the regard to the Government’s response to his letter suspending the
Peiris further said that
a variety of developments had occurred, all of which were positive and would
help put the talks back on track. “The outlook is promising because the
deadlock has been broken”, he said.
He explained that plans
for the Tokyo donor conference to be held June this year were still under
way; stressing the conference would benefit Sri Lanka as a whole. He said
the Government was hopeful of the participation of the LTTE as bilateral
involvement would be advantageous to both, because focus would be on the
Peiris said however the
LTTE had not given any assurances as to their presence in Tokyo.
Responding to query, as
to whether the shifting of the High Security Zones (HSZ) in Jaffna, was a
direct fall-out of the LTTE’s withdrawal from the peace talks, Peiris said
it was not so. He said that it was a decision made sometime back by the Army
to facilitate ordinary civilian life.
“Displaced persons are
a problem. Resettlement is voluntary and so conditions have to be good for
people to want to come back. The HSZs were disrupting normal civilian
activities. It was restricting access to the hospital”, said Peiris.
He stressed however that
this was not a withdrawal but a simple re-location and that it would not
cause problems to security interests.
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Date: April 30, 2003 - 10.00