LTTE proscription, a huge mistake by EU, says Martin McGuinness

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 July 2006, 10:21 GMT]
Martin McGuinness, Chief Negotiator of Sinn Féin, the Political Wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from Northern Ireland, talking to reporters from Kilinochchi Monday said it was a "huge mistake for the EU leaders to demonize the LTTE and the political leaders of the Tamil people." The Sinn Féin negotiator visited Kilinochchi Monday and discussed the current situation in the NorthEast with the Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) S. P. Thamilchelvan at LTTE's Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi.

Martin McGuinness in Kilinochchi
Martin McGuinness
"In a peace process all sides should be treated equally and with respect," Mr. Martin McGuinness told reporters.

Tamileelam Police Chief B. Nadesan and the Director of LTTE Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan accompanied LTTE's Political Head Thamilchelvan to the meeting with Mr. Martin McGuinness who was accompanied by his aide Aidan McAteer and Tyrol Ferdinands, Managing Trustee, Initiative for Political & Conflict Transformation (INPACT) in Colombo.

"I come from Ireland where we have a very successful peace process, one of the most successful peace processes of the world today, and I am very keen to share my experiences as one of the leaders of the Sinn Féin movement in Ireland, not just with the leaders of the LTTE, but also with Sri Lanka," McGuinness, who was once banned from entering Great Britain under the "Prevention of Terrorism Act," told reporters.

Martin McGuinness in Kilinochchi
Martin McGuinness meets S.P. Thamilchelvan
He joined the Provisional IRA around 1970 at the age of 20. At the age of 21, he became second-in-command of the Provisional IRA in Derry.

He negotiated alongside Gerry Adams with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Willie Whitelaw, in 1972.

Since elected to the Executive board of Sinn Féin, Martin McGuinness has played a major role in promoting and supporting the strategy of the current peace process in Northern Ireland. He was a leading representative in the 1972 talks with the then British Secretary of State, William Whitelaw, in London. He led the party's delegation which, following the IRA cessation (of armed action) of 31st. August 1994, met with the British Minister, Michael Ancram, on several occasions. Prior to that he represented Sinn Féin in protracted secret contact and negotiations with representatives of the British government from 1990 until 1993.

In 1997 he was elected Member of Parliament for the Mid-Ulster constituency and reelected again in 2001. In 1998 he was elected to the Assembly for the same constituency. He became Minister for Education in the new Northern Ireland Assembly in November 1999 and was widely acclaimed for his work.

Martin McGuinness in Kilinochchi
Martin McGuinness in meeting with LTTE delegation


External Links:
SinnFein: Martin McGuinness Meets Tamil Tiger Leadership In Sri Lanka

 

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