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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Norwegian Special Envoy Visiting Vanni Today: Sri Lanka Government Asks LTTE to Allow Jaffna Shopkeepers Open Their Shops

Colombo, 08 December, ( Sri Lanka Government is sending words to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to release all forms of restrictions to allow Government to provide food and other essential commodities to people in the Jaffna peninsula and to those in Vakarai in the East.

Government also has said that they are ready for talks with the Tamil Tigers.

Message of the Government of Sri Lanka is carried by Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer and the Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar who are visiting today to Killnochchi to meet with LTTE leaders.

Before leaving for Kilinochchi, both the Norwegian diplomats met yesterday with Dr. Palitha Kohona, Secretary General of SCOPP, at the Peace Secretariat.

Dr. Palitha Kohona, conveyed to them to tell the LTTE to allow Jaffna shopkeepers function without any threat or intimidation.

Dr. Kohona conveyed three urgent formal requests from the GOSL, for Bauer to carry to the LTTE. He requested that the LTTE which claimed to represent the concerns of the people, act in a manner that would reflect a genuine concern by responding urgently to the following:

1. By allowing approximately 4,000 private traders in the Jaffna peninsula to operate and sell what ever they wanted without intimidation. Currently the LTTE was preventing these traders from plying their trade. The 450 co-operative stores and 16 military shops were inadequate to distribute supplies to the people.

2. An immediate response to the GOSL proposal to send a convoy of urgent relief supplies through the A9 route and the Muhamalai checkpoint to Jaffna. The GOSL was ready with the trucks and supplies and needed to have procedural arrangements and safety guarantees in place. The GOSL would be happy to discuss any issues the LTTE might have in relation to the proposal. The LTTE had not given a formal response to the SLMM which conveyed the GOSL proposal to them over two weeks ago.

3. An immediate response to the GOSL proposal to create a safe haven for IDPs in Vakarai. The GOSL had conveyed this proposal to the LTTE through the SLMM some weeks ago and had not got a positive response. The GOSL recognized the urgent need to move the IDPs away from military installations to a defined safe area.

Norwegian Special Envoy has agreed that the above proposals were of immediate concern and confirmed he would carry these requests to the LTTE. Dr. Kohona further stated that the GOSL was ready for negotiations.

- Asian Tribune -

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