LTTE has no mandate to review CFA
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LTTE has no mandate to review CFA

Lanka is keen to review the truce pact on grounds that it is in LTTE's favour, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 11:56 IST

The LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, has made it clear that his team has no mandate to review or revise the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) at the talks with the Sri Lankan government at Geneva on February 22 and 23.

Colombo, however, is keen on reviewing and revising the agreement, on the grounds that it is biased in favour of the LTTE.

"We have been permitted to discuss only the smooth implementation of the existing CFA. We cannot go beyond this mandate. Therefore, there is no question of lending an ear to any suggestion to review or revise the agreement," Balasingham told the Tamil daily Sudar Oli.

The LTTE's political advisor and negotiator further said that the 2002 agreement was arrived at after long and intensive discussions between the then Sri Lankan government and the LTTE through the good offices of the Norwegian facilitators.

It has been the LTTE's case that the current problems with the ceasefire arise from the faulty implementation of the CFA by the Sri Lankan government and not from the CFA itself.

Though the government had agreed to talk in Geneva only about the "smooth implementation" of the existing CFA, it is reported that the government delegation is carrying a revised draft of the CFA.

The draft had been prepared by a legal team headed by the eminent lawyer HL de Silva, who will also be in Geneva to assist the government delegation.

In view of the politically sensitive nature of the talks, President Rajapaksa has asked the negotiating team not to take any decisions without prior approval from him.

And to enable the team to be in touch with the President constantly, a hotline has been established, according to the Colombo media.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 11:21 IST