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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2958

Tigers refuse to talk to Government delegation in Oslo: Govt delegation told to return to Colombo, if no talks by the evening

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Colombo, 08 June, Sri Lankan government has instructed its peace delegation to return to Colombo if the Tigers do not attend the meeting by the evening. The Government’s Defence Affairs spokesman said.

The Tigers have declined to sit with the government delegation demanding a ministerial presence in the delegation.

Talks had not commenced at 2.45 Pm in Oslo time and Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim was in a frantic effort to bring the Tigers to negotiation table,
Government’s Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the government was in contact with the government peace delegation and said Peace Secretariat Chief Dr Palitha Kohona had warned that the delegation would pack bags and leave Oslo if the Tigers do not change their position by today evening.

“It is true that the delegation has been instructed to come back if there is talk, without wasting time for nothing,” said the Defence Affairs spokesman.

. “This is a lame excuse to avoid talks and we are not surprised by this,” said Minister Rambukwella referring to the LTTE’s justification to boycott talks.

“The composition of the government delegation was known long before both to the LTTE and the international community,” he added.

The Tigers have also objected to the presence of Denmark, Finland and Sweden- all of which are EU nations- in the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission as well as in the meeting citing the EU ban as the reason.

The Oslo meeting was expected to discuss the security and operational arrangements of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.

“These were issues facilitators should have discussed prior to the meeting,” said the Government’s Defence Affairs spokesman.

Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim was negotiating with the Tigers to persuade them to attend talks, but his efforts so far are in vain.

- Asian Tribune -

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