A SriLankan Airlines technical team that was sent to Killinochchi on Thursday to inspect sea plane landing sites was refused permission to enter the area by the LTTE.
Defence sources said that the technical team was sent following the LTTE indicating its willingness to accept a sea plane to transport its cadres from Killinochchi for consultations with their Wanni leadership.
Asked what prompted the LTTE to turn back the technical team the sources said that the LTTE was trying to buy time.
`The LTTE obviously wants to delay the peace process as much as possible.`
Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Thursday`s cabinet press briefing that the government has already granted approval for SriLankan Airlines to release one of its sea planes for the transport of LTTE cadres.
`It is now up to the LTTE to obtain the sea plane through normal channels.`
Plan Implementation Minister and Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukawalle addressing last week`s cabinet press briefing said, `We understand that the LTTE has accepted the offer of a bigger private aircraft. They could obtain it from the relevant source.`