15 November, 2004 - Published 19:52 GMT

President can go ahead with talks - JVP

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga can start peace talks based upon LTTE's latest proposals, if she agrees with the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) put forward by the Tamil Tigers, says the government's junior partner Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

JVP's media secretary and parliamentarian Wimal Weervansa told BBC Sandehasya that the president does not have to worry about JVP's objections on ISGA.

"It is the media that selectively reports saying that the president is in favour of having talks based on the ISGA proposals," said Weeravansa.

Wimal Weeravansa along with Elle Gunawansa thero are in London as a part of the European propaganda campaign by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM).

"If the president is in favour of having talks based on the ISGA proposals, why did Jan Peterson have to go empty handed?" queried Weeravansa.

Norway Foreign Minister Jan Petersen was in Sri Lanka meeting President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in an attempt to revive stalled peace talks.

The LTTE insists that any future talks should be based on the ISGA proposals.

In earlier press communiques and discussions with visiting diplomats the president has expressed the view that her government agrees to get to the negotiation table on the basis of the ISGA proposals.

Apology requested

Responding to the demand by opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that the JVP should publicly apologise for interrupting Sri Lanka's peace process, Weerawansa said the UNP should first apologise for all its past activities.

"The UNP should apologise for all misdeeds by leaders from JR Jayawardhana to Ranil Wickramasinghe including the signing of cease-fire agreement (CFA)."

The CFA was signed in February 2002 between the government of Sri Lanka then led by Ranil Wickramasinghe and the LTTE.

JVP top leader said that the UNP is merely repeating LTTE's demands.

"The position of several parties including the JVP is that any Interim Self Government that excludes a permanent solution to the national question, should not be considered as the basis for peace talks," Said Weeravansa.

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