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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Interim Self Governing Authority & Aftermath > Cease-Fire under Pressure - Editorial, Thinakural, Colombo based Tamil Daily

Norwegian Peace Initiative

Cease-Fire under Pressure
- Editorial, Thinakural, Colombo based Tamil Daily
(Translation by Ana Pararajasingham)
7 October 2004

Although two and half years have passed since the MOU was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the resultant Cease-Fire is still subject to several challenges. It is in this context that Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mr.Vidar Helgessen has expressed concerns

Vidar Helgessen had pointed out to the LTTE in Geneva that breaches to the Cease-Fire would only make the tasks of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) more difficult.

The extra judicial killings (in the East in particular but also in other parts of the Island) and the practice of taking prisoners are indeed serious threats to the Cease-Fire. And, it is in this situation that the Norwegian Deputy Minister has expressed his concerns.

The Norwegian Minister had also articulated his desire to see the Cease-Fire continue.

That the cease-fire has held for so long despite these breaches is to be welcomed.

But then one must be aware that even minor incidents have the potential to undermine the cease-fire.

It is the attempt by the Sri Lankan armed forces to use renegade commander Karuna to destabilise the east that has resulted in the killings. These Killings which began in Batticaloa have now reached Colombo. The extent of the seriousness of this situation can be gleaned from the characterisation by military analysts as a shadow war between the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army.

We must, however, look beyond apportioning blame and seek to bring the situation under control immediately to avoid the breakdown of the ease-fire.

Norway has shown its concerns as the facilitators of the peace process.

The shadow war can be brought to an end only through implementing the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) in full.

LTTE Political Head Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan had also expressed similar sentiments in Geneva in calling for the disarmament of the para military groups as stipulated in Clause 1.8 of the MOU. According to this clause para military groups have to be disarmed.

One cannot dismiss the LTTE’s charge of the Government’s failure to comply with this requirement. Many members of the LTTE who had attempted to carry out political work in the Government Controlled areas of Batticoala have been killed. These killings have occurred in close proximity to the Sri Lankan Army camps. If the army was not directly responsible for these acts, then it must be the para military forces. Therefore, it is the Sri Lanka Government that is answerable.

There are also killings which have taken place within areas controlled by the LTTE. The LTTE claims to have evidence that these killings too were by para military groups working in tandem with the army.

The only way in which to bring these killings to an end is by disarming the para military units. It is the Government’s responsibility to do so.

The use of these Tamil para military forces to carry out a shadow war can only result in an escalation of these killings.

Should this situation continue not only will the SLMM be placed in an unenviable situation, the viability of the Cease-Fire itself may be called into question?


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