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Intl. community will not support a separate state- Solheim

Eric Solheim

Former Norwegian Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Eric Solheim has clearly said the International community will not support a separate state in Sri Lanka.  He made this observation at a Seminar held at the Norwegian Parliament auditorium on Tuesday.

Eric Solheim who was also the former Norwegian Environmental Minister was the guest speaker along with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran.
The Seminar was organized by the Labour Party of Norway under the title `Sri Lanka three years after war’.
The Norwegian Deputy Speaker Marit Nybakk presided over the event. 

Eric Solheim in his address said Sri Lanka was not the priority for the International community. “The International community is more concerned about the world economic crisis, the situations in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya   and the Middle East. However, the International community will never support a separate state in Sri Lanka,” he said.
Commenting on the blunders committed by the LTTE Eric Solheim said: “The peace talks were mooted in 2002 when the LTTE was at its peak militarily followed by the outfit overrunning the Elephant Pass. However, the outfit was not supportive of the peace process and believed very much in a military solution. The outfit also isolated itself from the international community. At the later stages of the war Prabhakaran could not prevent the sufferings faced by the people in the Wanni.”
He also said that if there was another armed struggle in the future, there won’t be support at all for it from the international community.
Expressing his views on a political solution to the Tamil question, Solheim said: “The devolution of power similar to the states in India could be a solution to the crisis and the international community would also consider it. Self-rule for Tamils in the North and East could be the ideal solution for the crisis in Sri Lanka.”
Solheim also added that the Tamils in Sri Lanka could be led by the Tamil political leadership in the country and they cannot be led by the Tamils living abroad.
The TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran addressing the Seminar said: “There is no improvement in the talks between the TNA and the Government. There is hardly any improvement in addressing the post war grievances of Tamils in the island.”
He said the military installations still remained in a big way in the North and East and there was no sign of their reduction.
The talks between the TNA and the Government have reached a stalemate.  The talks were based on two stages. Addressing the immediate problems of the Tamils was the first stage and talks on a political solution were the second stage. However there was hardly any development in the talks between the two sides. The international community should come forward in assisting the peace moves, he said.


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