The LTTE is seeking security guarantees including safe conduct both from the Government of Sri Lanka and Norway for its delegation to attend the second round of talks on the ceasefire in Geneva. The three day talks are due to begin on April 18.
Norway`s International Development Minister Erik Solheim who arrives in Colombo on Thursday is to raise this matter with Government leaders.
He will be joined by Special Envoy Jon Hansen Bauer. Among the guarantees the LTTE is seeking, diplomatic sources say, is one where members of its delegation could pass through the Bandaranaike International Airport without what they call hassle. On their return from Geneva in February the baggage of the LTTE delegation was searched. Besides catalogues on sniper rifles and night vision devices, Customs found head-mounted torch lights and digital cameras.
Special Envoy Bauer is due to arrive in Colombo tomorrow. He is expected to fly to Kilinochchi on April 5 and return the same day. He will be on hand in Colombo on April 6 when Mr. Solheim arrives. After their meeting with President Rajapaksa, they are expected to fly to New Delhi to brief the Indian Government on the latest developments. Thereafter, the duo are expected to fly to London where a meeting with LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham has been scheduled. This is to brief him on the outcome of the meeting with President Rajapaksa where the LTTE request would be discussed.
Mr. Balasingham last week told Mr. Solheim that the guerrillas would not agree to any future round of talks after Geneva until the Government disbanded paramilitary groups.