CFA gave de facto recognition to Eelam: LTTE
LTTE says it is compelled to resume its fight for Eelam, reports PK Balachandran.Updated:
In a landmark statement issued on thursday, the LTTE said that it was being "compelled" to resume its fight for an independent "Tamil Eelam" and that the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), which it entered into with the Sri Lankan government five years ago, had already given "Tamil Eelam" de facto domestic and international recognition.
Both assertions are of critical importance to Sri Lanka because they confirm that the CFA is, for all practical purposes, dead, and that the island is set to witness a long drawn out and no holds barred war between a force seeking secession by war, and a state seeking to thwart it with all the force at its command.
"The marginalisation of the 2002 CFA, which would have been a step towards just peace, has destroyed the confidence of the Tamil people and their expectations regarding future peace efforts.
It has also compelled the Tamil people to resume their freedom struggle to realise their self-determination and to achieve statehood," the statement said.
According to the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government had breached the CFA by not disarming the anti-LTTE "Tamil paramilitary groups"; by attacking and bombing civilian areas; killing, displacing and abducting civilians; failing to restore normal life in the Tamil areas, even after the tsunami tragedy; and closing vital supply routes like the A9 highway to cause starvation.
CFA a foundation for a separate state
The LTTE also said that the CFA had been of great importance to the "Tamil people" as it had given de-facto recognition to the existence of "Tamil Eelam" and had bestowed international recognition to its structures.
"It (the CFA) recognised Tamil Eelam's de facto existence, with its unique characteristics; a distinct population; a government comprising a defense force, a police force, a judiciary, a civil administration and other institutions for effective governance of a people, and capability of entering into agreements with other governments, with a line of control reflecting the ground reality of the existence of the Tamil homeland demarcated with recognised borders.
The CFA recognised the balance of power between the GOSL (Government of Sri Lanka) and the LTTE, and was premised on this balance of power," the statement said.
This is the first time in the recent past, that the LTTE has said that it is resuming its armed struggle for secession. In earlier statements, its chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, had only threatened to resume the armed struggle if the Sri Lankan state did not play ball as per its expectations.
Again, this is the first time that the LTTE is looking at the CFA as a legitimate foundation for the putative de jure independent state of Tamil Eelam.
This line is bound to give a boost to forces in South Sri Lanka which have been calling for an abrogation of the CFA on the grounds that it has seriously eroded the sovereignty of the country and made it a happy hunting ground for secessionist terrorists.
The government's response to the LTTE's assertions will be eagerly awaited.
First Published: Feb 23, 2007 13:14 IST