LTTE says it is ready to stick to truce pact

By P.K. Balachandran, IANS

Colombo : The Tamil Tigers Thursday said they were ready to stick to the truce pact which they signed with the Sri Lankan government in 2002 even though Colombo has unilaterally withdrew from it earlier this month.

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“We are shocked and disappointed that the government has unilaterally abrogated the ceasefire agreement (CFA) signed in 2002 between the LTTE and the (government) with Norway’s facilitation,” the Tigers said in a statement after the meeting with the chief of the truce monitors.

“The LTTE wishes to state that even at this juncture, it is ready to implement every clause of the CFA and respect it 100 percent. We also request that Norway should continue with its facilitation role with the support of the international community,” the statement said.

“The abrogation by the government of the unprecedented, nearly six-year-long CFA has clearly demonstrated that the government will never permit the Tamil people to live with freedom in their homeland,” it argued.

It then went on to appeal to the international community to “understand” this and immediately remove the bans placed on the organisation “believing the false propaganda of the government”.

It further said that the international community should accept the “just aspirations” of the Tamil people and recognise their right to live with “self determination in their homeland”.

The LTTE said it entered into a truce pact with Colombo believing that it would restore normalcy in the war-torn Tamil areas in Sri Lanka’s north and east and create conditions to resolve the Tamils’ basic political problems.

The CFA, it said, had the necessary provisions to achieve these aims but the Sri Lankan government dragged its feet on the implementation of several critical clauses relating to the restoration of normalcy. While the Tigers took “constructive steps within their power to achieve the same”, the government did not, the statement said.

The LTTE pointed out that it had stuck to the CFA despite violations by the Sri Lankan government, including the killing of S.P. Tamilselvan, the head of the political wing, in an air raid.