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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2703

Sri Lanka government will not pull out of peace talks – Dr. Kohona

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting Colombo

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting Colombo

Colombo, 19 October, (Asiantribune.com):The Sri Lankan government continued to emphasise its commitment to the proposed peace talks to be held in Geneva later this month, despite a series of very serious ceasefire violation by the LTTE in forms of suicide bomb missions which has killed more than 130 security forces this week.Dr. Palitha Kohona : "We are committed to the October 28-29 talks. We are going to Geneva, despite these setbacks, because our objective is for a settlement through negotiations."Dr. Palitha Kohona : "We are committed to the October 28-29 talks. We are going to Geneva, despite these setbacks, because our objective is for a settlement through negotiations."

The Government's peace secretariat Chief Dr. Palitha Kohona told the "Asian Tribune," that they will not pull out of peace talks as the government is committed for a negotiated settlement through dialogue.

"We are committed to the October 28-29 talks. We are going to Geneva, despite these setbacks, because our objective is for a settlement through negotiations," Dr. Kohona emphasised.

He however refused to divulge the government's counter action in the event the LTTE pulls off another walk out stunt on grounds that, "Speculating such would be counter productive."

The Sri Lankan delegation will be led by Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva but the delegation is yet to be finalized.

President Mahinda Rajapakse has advised the Sri Lankan delegation to give special emphasis to the Tamil and Muslim concerns and grievances faced by these minorities at the proposed talks. The advice comes following reports that the government has for the time being ruled out the participation of a separate Muslim delegation which has been continuously demanded by all main Muslim political parties and civil society organisations.

According to the peace secretariat website, although the delegation has not been finalized yet, it is expected to include the following: Minister of Health Care, Nutrition & Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Chief government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Housing & Construction Ms Ferial Ashraff, Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge, Secretary General SCOPP Dr. Palitha Kohona, Secretary Foreign Ministry H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, H.L de Silva PC, Gomin Dayasri, Chandra Fernando andCoordinating Secretary to the President Sajin Vaas Goonewardena.

- Asian Tribune 06 October -

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