President Chandrika Kumaratunga has told Norwegian peace facilitators that an interim administration for Sri Lanka’s North and East should be established after ‘‘core issues’’ relating to the region’s future were sorted out.
All such ‘‘core issues’’ should be included in the agenda for proposed peace talks between the government and the LTTE in Thailand, she told the delegation headed by Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen, the Presidential Secretariat said on Tuesday. ‘‘The interim administration should not be implemented until the core issues are finalized,’’ it said.
As the Norwegians set about the task of evolving an acceptable agenda for the talks, inviting suggestions from both sides, the President’s stand on an organic link between any interim arrangement and substantive political negotiations towards a final settlement acquires importance.
Helgesen, with peace envoy Erik Solheim and Norwegian diplomats based in Colombo, apprised her of the status of the process yesterday, especially their efforts to evolve an afreed agenda for talks planned for late June in Thailand.