Monday, Nov 03, 2003
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By V.S. Sambandan
COLOMBO. NOV 2. Political parties and non-government groups in Sri Lanka have reacted to the proposals of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) along predictable lines, with the nationalist parties opposing and a pro-peace group welcoming the move.
The reactions came even as a report in the State media said that four Ministers met a special representative of the LTTE in Vavuniya and expressed the Government's view of the counter-proposals.
According to the report, while the Government welcomed some of the proposals, some others were not acceptable.
The National Peace Council (NPC) welcomed the "LTTE's presentation of its proposals for an interim administrative structure'' as "an important step forward in the peace process''.
The radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) opposing the proposals termed it as the "first step towards a separate state.'' It would come out with an action plan against the move.
The nationalist Sinhala Urumaya also criticised the proposals. The main Opposition, People's Alliance (PA), is due to come out with its response tomorrow.
The NPC, in a statement, said it "acknowledged the great deal of effort gone into formulating the proposals'' and that it was "indicative of a serious approach to dialogue and to peace process''. With its proposals, the LTTE has "given a concrete form to its expectations in a manner that is essentially compatible with peaceful coexistence in a united Sri Lanka''.
The Peace Council said the LTTE position that its proposals are open to dialogue and discussion at the negotiating table "is an extremely constructive one''. It also welcomed the Government's statement that "while there are fundamental differences between the LTTE's proposals and its own," they "constitute a basis for discussions and look forward to the resumption of Government-LTTE peace talks in the near future''.
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