Tracking the Norwegian
Conflict Resolution Initiative
Oslo Talks - June 2006
LTTE continues dialogue with Norwegian Minister, SLMM Head
8 June 2006
LTTE's Political Head S. P. Thamilchelvan met representatives of the Norwegian
facilitator and the SLMM Head at Jevnaker in Norway for more than an hour
Thursday evening. When contacted by TamilNet after the meeting, Mr.
Thamilchelvan revealed, that the LTTE's delegation headed by the Director of
LTTE's Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan, was prepared to sit with the GoSL
delegation. But, the Sri Lankans were insisting on the presence of high-level
LTTE leadership, causing the deadlock. However, the LTTE's dialogue with the
facilitator and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission would continue as planned on
Friday, he further said.
Explaining that there were principled issues, related to the
formal engagement of monitors from Nordic EU Member States after the EU's recent
proscription of the LTTE, being discussed, Mr. Thamilchelvan said that the
dialogue with the Norwegians and the SLMM would continue on Friday.
Norwegian International Minister Erik Solheim, Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission Major General Ulf Henricsson, Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Hans
Brattskar, Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer and former Norwegian State Secretary
Vidar Helgesen met with the LTTE Political Head at Thorbjørnrud Hotel.
SLMM Head and the Norwegian Special Envoy would be meeting the LTTE delegation
at 9:00 a.m. Friday.
Tamileelam Police Chief B. Nadesan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat S.
Puleedevan and the Legal Advisor Visuvanathan Rudrakumar accompanied LTTE's
Political Head in the meeting. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has announced a
press meet at the Ministry at 9:00 p.m. Thursday. The Liberation Tigers
have also announced a press meet at Hotell Continental, an hour later at 10:00
p.m on Thursday to clarify their stand.
Asked about the EU's stated preparedness to continue dialogue with the LTTE
despite the ban, Mr. Thamilchelvan said the LTTE was always supportive of
dialogue, but the formal process of ceasefire monitoring required a scrupulous
commitment to neutrality in Sri Lanka's conflict, which was compromised by the
"There are Nordic countries which are not Member States of the EU and their
participation is encouraged by the LTTE," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.
The LTTE delegation in Oslo is engaged in involved discussions
with the Norwegian facilitators on key issues, including the role of
international truce monitors, the head of the LTTE's Political Wing, S. P.
Thamilchelvan said Thursday. Responding to media reports that the LTTE was
refusing to sit with the Sri Lankan government (GoSL) delegation, Mr.
Thamilchelvan said "discussions on the monitors at this crucial juncture would
be productive and progressive when the [LTTE and government] delegations raise
the issues separately with the Norwegian facilitators, giving room for them to
approach a resolution of these issues."
The LTTE’s delegation was invited by Norway to Oslo to discuss
the role of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the security of SLMM staff
and the future engagement of the SLMM in a post EU-ban scenario, Mr.
“Discussions on SLMM, at this crucial juncture, would be productive and
progressive when the delegations raise the issues separately with the Norwegian
facilitators, giving room for the facilitators to work out an agenda and let
them approach the issue progressively,” Mr. Thamilchelvan further said.
“The GoSL delegation has the freedom to exercise the same procedure without
insisting the LTTE meet directly with them over these,” the LTTE's Political
Head noted. The LTTE delegation would be meeting the International Development
Minister Erik Solheim Thursday evening to discuss the process forward, Mr.
Thamilchelvan said. The LTTE delegation has already met the Norwegian
facilitators twice on Thursday, he said.
Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka
Hans Brattskar and the former State Secretary Vidar Helgesen represented the
LTTE officials with the delegation in Oslo pointed out to Tamil correspondents
that the terms of the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the makeup,
mandate and role of the SLMM had been agreed in early 2002 by indirect,
Norwegian-facilitated negotiations between LTTE and GoSL.
Meanwhile, in an interview to the Sudar Oli newspaper conducted Wednesday, Mr.
Thamilchelvan pointed out that the Sri Lankan government’s delegation in Oslo
did not include any ministers or political representatives authorised to strike
a deal with the LTTE.The GoSL delegation is led by an official, Dr Palitha
Kohona, Director General of the Government Peace Secretariat. “We do not intend
to conduct talks with such a delegation. At any rate, we do not have the
sanction of our leadership to do so,” Thamilchelvan said.