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DateLine Sunday, 22 April 2007

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Government Gazette

Govt reiterates willingness to resume peace talks

Health Minister and Government Chief Peace Negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva reiterated the government's willingness to resume unconditional peace talks with the LTTE at a discussions held with the Norwegian peace negotiator Ambassador Hans Brattskar.

Ambassador Brattskar had made a courtesy call on Minister de Silva and informed him about his visit to Killinochchi on Monday.

Minister de Silva told the 'Sunday Observer' yesterday that the government was ever willing to have talks with the LTTE but not under conditions set by the LTTE. "The government is committed to bring peace and we have never changed our desire, and the doors for unconditional peace talks are open always," he said.

He said that Ambassador Brattskar told him that he would inform the government about the outcome of the discussion held with the LTTE.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Ambassador will visit Killinochchi to discuss with the LTTE about the possibilities to resume peace talks.

He will meet the LTTE's Chief Peace Negotiator S.P. Thamilselvan tomorrow.However, according to media reports the LTTE had informed the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission about their willingness to resume talks on the basis of implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has clearly set out the government's stand on peace talks when he met Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, at the meeting after his audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Friday.

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