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Liberation Tigers Put Forward Many Pre-Conditions To Sit Down At Norwegian Sponsored Peace Talks After Their Military Victory

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is reiterating for the acceptance of a cease-fire and other pre-conditions by the government to enter into peace talks with Colombo.

Tamil Tiger publications in the West charged that "The Norwegian peace pie does not have meat in it" and declared they are studying a Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Sri Lanka government in which "there are issues to be clarified and agreed upon".

The soon to be submitted memorandum of Understanding by the Tigers is expected to contain all their pre-conditions to sit down at the negotiating table for peace with the government.

The London based, Tamil Circle Digest, an electronic bulletin distributed world wide among Tiger sympathizers dated May 2 said, "The Norwegian Peace Pie does not have meat in it." and called the government's insistence to start the talks without any delay indicates an attempt by the government of a propaganda nature "to entice LTTE into a futile peace talk in order to frustrate and antagonize it so that LTTE can withdraw from the peace process."

An LTTE stalwart, who is believed to be in constant touch with the Tiger leadership in Wanni, named Dr. K.K.Nava based in Australia wrote the piece.

Earlier Anton Balasingham publicly demanded another pre-condition that Norway should be changed from a mere facilitator to a direct third party throughout the peace discussions between the belligerent parties.

The London based , Tamil Guardian, another publication of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , in its latest issue of May 2 said the original draft of the Norwegian Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was presented to them by Oslo months ago . The newspaper quoted a Tiger spokesman of having said the Sri Lankan government sat on the document, delayed its responses and even denied its existence.

Quoting the same sources the newspaper said, " Furthermore Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Laxman Kadirgamar , made alterations, in the title, preamble, and the content of the document imposing severe restrictions on essential items, petrol, diesel, cement and iron rods which needed further discussions ,clarifications and agreements."

Analysts said, in fact , the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was attempting to obtain all items essential for the escalation of war through conditions laid down in the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Tamil Guardian quoted the LTTE as having said the warring rebel organization "remains ready to finalize and formalize the Norwegian MOU if the government recognizes it as a practical step towards de-escalation and normalization of the civilian life in the northeast and is prepared to cease all armed hostilities against the LTTE."

The Tamil Guardian declared that the LTTE had routed a massive Sri Lanka army offensive in the Jaffna peninsula leaving hundreds dead and thousands wounded and published a four column colour picture of Tiger artillery, on their front page, the caption of which read: Determined resistence: LTTE artillery such as this 122 mm.howitzer battery helped in repulsing a Sri Lankan offensive".

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