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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2397

Talks neither in Killinochchi nor Oslo as elections stall pe

[b]Talks neither in Killinochchi nor Oslo as elections stall peace process soon[/b]

From our Colombo Correspondent

[b]Colombo, 28 August, (Asiantribune.com):[/b] The ruling given by a unanimous decision of a five-judge Bench of Supreme Court to hold the presidential election this year (and not next year, as argued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s lawyers) has thrown the political scenario and the peace process into a spin, according to political analysts.

While the political bargaining and campaigning for presidential election will get underway at break-neck speed, the peace process is likely to be put on hold till after the elections. Analysts believe that the LTTE will not be inclined to negotiate with any party unless they know the final outcome of the elections. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who wrote to the Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Bondevik, to hold talks with the LTTE on revising the Cease Fire Agreement, too will be distracted with electioneering and preparing for her exit rather than pushing for talks.

Analysts also state that after the Supreme Court cut down her term of office, she is a lame duck President, who lacks the authority to act or speak on behalf of the government. In any case, the different venues presented by both parties for holding talks were going to be the first stumbling bloc for starting negotiations. The government proposed that peace talks should be held in Sri Lanka and not in Norway. LTTE proposed Oslo as the venue for the talks. Taking advantage of the government’s proposal the LTTE has sent a letter to the Norwegian facilitators urging that the talks be held in Killinochchi. This has been sent to the Norwegians though the Sri Lankan government has not received a copy of it from the LTTE.

This move of the LTTE has put the government into a tight corner. It is a move by the LTTE to establish Killinochchi as the political centre that should be recognized nationally and internationally on the pretext that it not safe for them to participate in government-controlled areas.

Political analysts argue that the LTTE will push for Killinochchi under various excuses knowing that that a refusal to accept it may be seen as obstructing talks to settle differences on the Cease Fire Agreement. Analysts argue that this line is not valid because the LTTE cadres and its leaders like Anton Balasingham and S. P. Thamilselvan accept the protection given by the government when they travel abroad or to and from Killinochchi.

http://www.asiantribune.com/show_news.php?id=15464

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