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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2862

Solheim openly took the LTTE side in Geneva

[b]Solheim openly took the LTTE side in Geneva [/b]

H. L. D. Mahindapala

[b]Part III[/b]

Journalists waiting in a queue to enter the opening and closing press conferences in the last round of talks in Geneva held in February (late winter) were freezing in the cold. They breathed easy only after they had taken a sip of the hot coffee served in the foyer.

When, after a long wait, the doors opened for the journalists to enter the hall arranged for the press conference there was a rush to get in and occupy an advantageous position to either ask questions or to take pictures.

The session was opened by Erik Solheim who talked, among other generalities, about the sun coming up in the east and the sun going down in the coasts of Sri Lanka. He was hoping to add not only a bit of colour to his speech but also to keep the hopes afloat – just enough to keep the talks going without raising expectations to a high degree. In fact, he said so.

Sri Lankan journalists too arrived at the conclusion that if both parties agree to talk again, without the LTTE pulling out on some pretext or the other, it can be regarded as a success. And that is precisely what happened. There is a plus in it for Erik Solheim for keeping the talks afloat even if it was not going anywhere.

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