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LTTE to SL: Implement truce pact

At Geneva talks Tigers tell Lankan Govt to implement CFA fully for the sake of peace, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2006 21:27 IST

In its submission at the opening session of the peace talks in Geneva on Saturday, the LTTE told the Sri Lankan government that it was essential for the state to implement the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) "one hundred per cent" to achieve any progress in the peace process.

The leader of the LTTE's delgation, SP Tamilselvansaid that the best that one could hope for at the current talks was the strengthening of the CFA as that had the potential to lead to a permanent and just peace in Sri Lanka.

"This CFA has the unique distinction of lessening the threat of resumption of the three decades long war," he pointed out.

Calling upon the international community to help strengthen the CFA, he said,

"The international community has the capacity to bring pressure on the GoSL (Government of Sri Lanka), stop lending support to the GoSL for its ethnically motivated killings and end its assistance to the GoSL for its military offensives."

"We request the international community, the Co-Chairs and the Norwegian facilitators to act to ensure one hundred per centofthe implementation of the CFA and the strengthening of the role of the SLMM (Scandinavian truce monitors)."

"We are confident that such actions will bring normalcy in the lives of our people, and help in taking forward the peace process towards a satisfactory conclusion."

Accusing the Sri Lankan government of unleashing violence on the Tamils of the Northeast, Tamilselvan said that since the Geneva I talks, the Sri Lankan military, using the Tamil paramilitary as cover, had killed 870 civilians, including 98 children,and had caused the disappearance of 408 civilians.

1,81,643 Tamil people had been displaced by government offensives in 2006 alone, Tamilselvan said. The Tamil paramilitaries had a abducted over 100 adults and 300 children. The state had killed a Tamil member of parliament Joseph Pararajasingham and high school students.

The government had imposed an economic embargo on the Tamil areas held by the LTTE. Byrefusing to open the A9 highway, the government "cruelly" caused "near starvation" in the Jaffna peninsula.

Humanitarian workers had been barred from working in the North-East, Tamilselvan said.

Detailing the injustices perpetrated by the Sri Lankan government, Tamilselvan said that during the early period of the peace process,the government was more interested in altering the balance of military power to its advantage rather than implementing the CFA.

The LTTE had proposed a scheme of devolution called the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), but the government "refused to even discuss the ISGA".

A scheme to administer aid for the victims of the tsunami (PTOMS) was finalised six months after the disaster in December 2004. But PTOMS was rejected citing the Sri Lankan constitution.

At Geneva I, as per the CFA, the government promised to disband the Tamil paramilitary groups which were working with the armed forces to kill LTTE, but this promise was not kept.

"The recent ruling by the Sri Lankan courts that the merger of North and East was unconstitutional must be seen as part of the on going saga of the Sri Lankan judicial suystem coming to the aid of Sinhala majoritarianism."

"Northeast is the ancient Tamil homeland. It has remained so for centuries.The latest ruling by the Sri Lankan courts adds to the mounting evidence that a solution to the ethnic conflict cannot be found within the current Sri Lankan constitution," Tamilselvan said.

About the Mavil Aaru incident, the LTTE's spokesman said that it could have been settled peacefully, but the government went to war and seized LTTE held territory.

The incident had been used to unleash an undeclared war, which was stopped only after severe military reverses, Tamilselvan said.

First Published: Oct 28, 2006 18:58 IST