LTTE’s chief negotiator to revive talks

Himalayan News Service

Colombo, May 7:

The London-based chief peace negotiator of Tamil Tiger guerrillas arrived here today for preliminary talks with the rebel leadership to kickstart Sri Lanka’s stalled peace talks, reports Xinhua. Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in six rounds of direct talks with the former government, was flown to the rebel-held northern Kilinochchi district on board a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter, officials said. Balasingham will discuss with LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran moves to re-start the peace negotiations with the new government led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga that came to power after the April 2 elections. Norwegian peace facilitators who concluded a visit to the island earlier this week said both the rebels and the new government were keen to revive the peace process. In April last year, the LTTE staged a pullout from the talks, accusing the then government led by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of doing little to implement decisions taken at six rounds of negotiations.