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Letter from LTTE political-wing head Tamilselvan To Peace Secretariat Secretary General Bernanrd Goonatilake, April 23, 2003

Following the LTTE leadership’s announcement of temporary suspension of participation in the peace talks with the Sri Lankan Government, LTTE political wing head Tamilselvan said the meetings of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) stand postponed, as the LTTE would not be attending them. He wrote a letter to Bernard Goonatilake, Government Peace Secretariat Secretary General informing him of the LTTE’s decision. In his letter he said mutual trust and cooperation could be restored through decisive and urgent action by the Government in alleviating the hardship of the Tamils in the North and East, through a speedy implementation of relief and rehabilitation programees.

The full text of the letter is reproduced below:

"In accordance with the decision of our organisation’s leadership to suspend our participation in the negotiations, we regretfully wish to postpone the next meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN). It is our leadership’s wish to await action and implementation on urgent matters raised by Mr. A. Balasingham in his letter to the Prime Minister, Hon. Mr. Ranil Wickremsinghe, prior to setting a date for the next meeting. As you are aware, urgent action is required on resettlement and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced People and of refugees.

"We also wish to implore the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to act on matters already agreed at previous meetings of the sub-committee and ensure humanitarian and rehabilitation projects in the Northeast are implemented enabling the return of normal life to the people living there. In the meantime, we are also hopeful that all efforts will be made by your government to urgently seek the funds from pledges made by several international donors at the Oslo conference on 25th November last year to be targeted for identified projects through the Northeast Reconstruction Fund (NERF). In the last few months, from announcements made at our meetings, expectations among the people of the Northeast have been raised to a high level. Therefore it would be meaningless for the sub-committee to continue to meet regularly without any tangible action on the ground.

"While we regret that we are compelled to postpone the next meeting of the SIHRN, we wish to reiterate that mutual trust and cooperation can be restored through decisive and urgent action from the Government of Sri Lanka to alleviate the hardships of the people in the Northeast."

Source: Tamil Net, April 24, 2003





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