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LTTE Urges the International community to recognize the just struggle of the Tamils

Jan 10, 2008, 08:00 Digg this story!
Today at 9.00am, the SLMM Head of Mission, Lars Johan Solveberg, met the LTTE Political Head, B Nadeson, as part of the SLMM winding-up operation. The SLMM is in the process of winding-up its operation in the island by 16th of this month as ruled by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The LTTE Political Head handed a statement signed by him to the SLMM Head of Mission. A similar signed statement was also give to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry through the SLMM Head of Mission.

The text of the press release by the LTTE Political Wing based on the signed statement handed today is follows:

10 January 2008
Press release
LTTE Political Division

It is time for the international community to recognize the just struggle of the Tamil nation

We are shocked and disappointed that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has unilaterally abrogated the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) signed in 2002 between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the GoSL with Norway’s facilitation. The GoSL was forced to sign the CFA in 2002 after the LTTE brought about a military balance of power through a series of large scale military victories. The CFA was thus signed on 22 February 2002 by the two sides.

The CFA was signed with the expectation that it will form the basis for bringing normalcy to the Tamil homeland that was devastated by the GoSL military offensives and for creating permanent peace.

The CFA agreement had the necessary clauses, to remove the military zones declared by the Sri Lankan military, to facilitate the resettlement of the Tamil people in their land, to reopen the A9 Jaffna-Kandy highway and the Chenkaladi-Badulla highway, to vacate the schools and places of worship that are occupied by the Sri Lankan military, and to remove all fishing restrictions.

The LTTE not only reiterated: at the peace talks, during meeting with international VIPs and in their many press reports, that the CFA must be implemented 100% , they also took constructive steps within their power to achieve the same. However, the GoSL and its military failed to implement the CFA clauses within the timeframes indicated in the CFA and bring normalcy in the life of the Tamil people. Despite this, the LTTE faithfully took part in six rounds of peace talks from September 2002 till March 2003, and brought to the notice of the Norwegians, the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM), and the international community, the continued CFA violations by the GoSL and its military. The GoSL also put hurdles in the implementation of the agreements made at the peace talks such as the agreement on the implementation of the subcommittee on immediate humanitarian and rehabilitation needs and the agreement on the implementation of the subcommittee for de-escalation and normalcy. Through these actions the GoSL weakened the peace efforts.

The LTTE was forced to temporarily withdraw from the peace talks as a result of the failure to implement the CFA 100%, the failure to implement the agreements reached at the peace talks, and the failure to maintain parity of status of one party to the CFA, the LTTE.

The LTTE still desisted from withdrawing from the CFA and the peace efforts but continued with its efforts through Norway’s facilitation to seek ways to find a permanent peace for the Tamil people. As such, with the view to give new life to the peace efforts, and to bring normalcy in the life of the Tamil people, the LTTE reiterated that the GoSL must put forward a proposal to setup an interim administration for the Tamil homeland to undertake rehabilitation and reconstruction of the area subjected to devastation of the war. However, the proposals put forward by the GoSL did not contain even the very basic powers needed to resolve the daily problems faced by the Tamil people. Therefore, the LTTE, with Norway’s facilitation, and with the input from legal experts from many countries, put forward the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal. The GoSL refused even accept it as a basis for further talks. Thus the efforts taken by the LTTE on request from Norway and the international community failed to be fruitful. In the same vein, the P-TOMS agreement signed to undertake reconstruction work after the tsunami devastation was also thrown into the dustbin as has become the tradition of the GoSL.

With no regard to the CFA, the GoSL began undertaking large scale military offensives creating immense human misery in the Tamil homeland. Despite this, respecting the wishes of Norway and the international community that the CFA must be strengthened and the two sides must take part in direct talks, the LTTE took part in two direct talks in Geneva in 2006. Even in these two direct talks in Geneva, the LTTE reiterated over and over again that the CFA must be implemented 100%. The LTTE also expressed its readiness to implement the CFA 100% on its side and requested the GoSL to implement, on a humanitarian basis for the sake of the more than 400,000 people trapped in the open prison that is Jaffna, the just one clause in the CFA about the opening of the A9 highway. The GoSL rejected this humanitarian call and as a result the peace efforts again came to a stand still. The LTTE did not take any decision to withdraw from the CFA agreement even when the GoSL assassinated the leader of the LTTE peace delegation, S P Tamilselvan, in November 2007.

The GoSL, without any justifications, has now unilaterally withdrawn from the CFA. The LTTE wishes to state that even at this juncture, it is ready to implement every clause of the CFA agreement and respect it 100%. We also request that Norway should continue with its facilitation role with the support of the international community.

History is replete with examples of the GOSL abrogation of pacts that were made to bring permanent peace for the Tamil people. The abrogation by the GoSL of the unprecedented nearly six year long CFA has clearly demonstrated that the GoSL will never permit the Tamil people to live with freedom in their homeland.

Therefore, the international community must understand this, and immediately remove the bans it has placed on the LTTE believing the false propaganda of the GoSL, accept the just aspirations of the Tamil people, and recognize the right of the Tamil people to live with self-determination in their homeland.

10 January 2008

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