The Norwegian peace facilitators yesterday stressed the importance of President Mahinda Rajapakse`s government obtaining the assurance of its allies if Oslo and the SLMM were to effectively continue their work in Sri Lanka.
This was an indirect reference to the allegations levelled against Norway and the SLMM by the JVP and the JHU who supported President Rajapakse at the November 17 polls.
A high level Norwegian delegation is expected to visit Sri Lanka soon to receive this assurance from President Mahinda Rajapakse before resuming the peace facilitation between the government and the LTTE.
This was indicated during a meeting between the Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar and LTTE political head S.P Thamilselvan in Killinochi yesterday.
?The Ambassador indicated to us that a high level political delegation from Norway is to visit Sri Lanka to discuss with both the parties the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement and acceptance of Norway and the SLMM by all partners within the government, ? Mr. Thamilselvan told the media after the meeting.
Mr. Thamilselvan said President Rajapakse in the run up to the presidential elections had stressed the need to find a solution to the ethnic conflict only within a unitary state would have to change as the three-decade long political conflict which arose from the alienation of the Tamils could only be solved through power sharing.
He said there was no necessity to review the ceasefire agreement as it was comprehensive and all-encompassing but instead what was needed was the proper implementation of the agreement.
Noting that civilian unrest and rise in violence in the North was due to intensified military action carried out together with other armed groups, Mr. Thamilselvan said these groups have a political agenda based on their masters` interests. Mr. Thamilselvan requested Norway to urgently arrange a high level meeting between the parties to effectively implement the ceasefire agreement as that alone could bring about normalcy and avoid confrontational postures between the civilians and the military.
The Ambassador briefed Mr. Thamilselvan on his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government`s invitation for the continuation of Norway`s role as facilitator and his visit to New Delhi with former peace envoy and Norway`s Development Minister Erik Solheim.
Mr. Brattskar said India assured it would continue its supportive and complementary role in the peace process.
Meanwhile Mr. Thamilselvan told Ambassador Brattskar that the LTTE leader had received a memorandum from Muslim representatives in the East requesting intervention on alleged threats and killings in the area.
?Immediate action was taken to address this issue through our District Political Heads to intensify interaction with Muslim community leaders and allay their fears. We fervently request our Muslim brethren to ignore the anonymous threats that tend to create suspicion and fear. These are machinations of mischievous elements that try to create tension between communities and we call upon our Muslim and Tamil people not to fall prey to these political manipulations by interested parties that have a vested interest and to act with restraint?, he said.