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Tamil: Who is responsible for peace talks delay?

Who is responsible for the delay in the peace process?

When handing over its ISGA proposals on 31 October 2003 to the Norwegian facilitators, the LTTE expressed categorically their readiness to recommence negotiations on the basis of those proposals. The UNF governemnt headed by Mr. Ranil Wickremasighe too reciprocated on those lines. President Chandrika Kumarathunga on the other hand, dissolved the parliament and formed a coalition with JVP, an entity that was vehemently opposed to the peace process and facilitation by Norway. This impediment notwithstanding, the President expressed her interest in restarting the peace process. This intention was however not translated into action. The President did not do anything constructively to take forward the peace process save mouthing her 'intentions' to restart the peace process.

Now the President is engaged in conflicting and confusing views on the peace process and accusing the LTTE of being inflexible and indecisive. The LTTE infact took forward the Tamil freedom struggle based on the mandate the Tamil people gave in the general elections of 1977. However, the LTTE leadership was circumspect to announce from time to time its willingness to negotiate on the basis of viable alternatives.

From day one of handing over the ISGA proposals, the LTTE has been consistently expressing its readiness to recommence negotiations on the basis of the ISGA proposals. These proposals, it is important to bear in mind, are intended solely to address urgent humanitarian needs in the war devastated region, build confidence and bring about normalcy, an essential foundation to take on board the political negotiations for final resolution. President Chandrika Kumarathunga and her government have by their inaction exposed the hesitation they have in entering into negotiations.

The statement of the President on 16th September that the LTTE is inflexible and indecisive is therefore far from the truth and is totally disappointing and shocking to the Tamil people.

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