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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2732

Peace talks in Geneva commenced without a formal agenda

Geneva, 28 October, (Asiantribune.com): Peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam commenced this morning in Geneva, at about 10.00 am Swiss time, at the International Conference Hall at Varembé, situated at the centre of the city. Protagonists of war shake hands for peace: LTTE’s chief negotiator S. P. Tamilselvan shakes hands with Sri Lanka Government chief representative Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva while Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim looks on in Geneva. Protagonists of war shake hands for peace: LTTE’s chief negotiator S. P. Tamilselvan shakes hands with Sri Lanka Government chief representative Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva while Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim looks on in Geneva.

The two top negotiators from Government of Sri Lanka and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam shook hands in the presence of Norwegian peace brokers.

Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim made an opening statement, before senior representatives of the two parties shook hands.

This was the time; the slightly balding S.P.Tamilselvan was seen shaking hands as the head of the LTTE delegation flashing his ready-made smile with Sri Lanka’s chief negotiator Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who in 1996 narrowly escaped a Tamil Tiger bomb attack in the Jaffna peninsula.

Observers described that the body languages of both the top delegates was seen as mutually accommodative and reciprocal.
The talks then continued behind closed doors. Today’s talks began with no formal agenda.

Norwegian facilitators failed to make the two warring parties come to terms on a formal agenda for talks. Today’s talk is described as an attempt to restore the fragile Ceasefire and to talk about holding more formal talks in the near future.

The two sides were making separate opening statements and were expected to take up issues as they go along.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva Leads the Sri Lankan Government delegation and the other members are Ministers Rohitha Bogollagama, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Farial Asroff, President’s Counsel H.L. de Silva, Senior Lawyer Gomin Dayasiri, Dr. Palithe Kohona and former DIG Chandra Fernando.

S.P. Tamilselvan is leading the Tiger delegation and several others including B. Nadesan, S. Pulidevan, Irasiah Ilanthirayan and R. Rudrakumaran are participating in the talks.

Norway is the mediator and Swiss Government is facilitating the two day talks.

The first Geneva talks between Sri Lanka’s warring parties was held on 22-23 February 2006.

- Asian Tribune -

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