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Reschduled Geneva talks to postpone further

Written by: Staff
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Colombo, Apr 15 (UNI) Rescheduled talks between thegovernment of Sri lanka and Tamil Tigers due to start on April 24-25 may be further postponed with the LTTE today unilaterally pulling out of the sea transport agreement.

"The LTTE today has pulled of the sea out transport arrangement unilaterally. This withdrawal has now created a few question marks.

We still hope that the Geneva talks will take place as planned on April 24 and 25. The government is fully committed and making all preparation to attend the Geneva talks. Now the ball is in the LTTE's court," head of the Government Peace Secretariat and Senior Advisor of the President, Dr Palitha Kohona told reporters here today.

The agreement was reached to facilitate the movement of LTTE leaders from the Eastern province to the North in order to complete their preparations for the next round of the talks.

He said head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Maj Gen Ulf Henrikkson, who was there in the rebel-held Wanni region, had informed this morning that the LTTE cadres were agitated over the security provided to them by Sri Lankan navy for their movement while they were on their way to get their Eastern commanders released from Wanni region.

It was agreed in principle that the sea transportation for the unarmed LTTE cadres in civic uniform would be with the navy protection and not with the LTTE protection.

Claiming that the sea transport arrangement was made despite repeated provocative attacks by the LTTE in the past couple of days, Dr Kohona expressed government's disappointment over the LTTE's unilateral decision to pull out the of the agreement citing various reasons.

The Norwegian facilitators yesterday announced that the parties to the peace process, the GOSL and the LTTE, have agreed to postpone the talks in Geneva from April 19 to 24. They said the decision was made due to some practical considerations.

Meanwhile, military sources here said the army personnel on patrol have recovered four powerful claymore mines from Kattaparichchan in the Eastern Batticaloa district and Omanthai in the Northern Vauniya districts.

UNI XC KD AT RN1418

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