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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Ceasefire Agreement Buried?: 2006 - 2007 > Sri Lanka abrogates Peace Agreement
Tracking the Norwegian
Sri Lanka abrogates Peace Agreement
Government annuls Peace Agreement - Tamilnet Report, 2 January 2008
Sri Lanka's President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces as well as the Minister of Defence, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has decided to annul the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE). Sri Lankan Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwela, has confirmed that a cabinet decision to withdraw from the CFA has been taken on Wednesday. But, he did not provide a date for the GoSL withdrawal.
The February 2002 agreement,
in its paragraph 4.4, specifies that the agreement shall remain in force
until notice of termination is given by either Party to the Royal Norwegian
Government takes a policy decision to
abrogate failed CFA
Lanka truce end deeply concerns Norway
Canada deeply regrets decision of Sri
Lanka to withdraw from Cease fire Agreement, 3 January 2008
Statement by Canada
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, issued the following statement following developments in Sri Lanka:
iTRO statement on Sri Lanka Withdrawal from Cease Fire Agreement, 16 January 2008
iTRO is shocked and concerned that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has unilaterally abrogated the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) it entered into with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002. The abrogation of the CFA by the GoSL will plunge the country back into all out war and the effects on the civilian population will be devastating.
This callous act has extinguished any hope that the international community and the Tamil people had in achieving a peaceful resolution to the Sri Lankan conflict and is the culmination of the GoSL's rejection of the legitimate expression of the Tamils' fundamental rights.
Restricting Humanitarian Relief and Removing International Witnesses
Over the past two years the GoSL has sought to remove international organizations from the NorthEast so as to reduce the witnesses to the violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and to restrict the amount of humanitarian aid reaching the Tamil people. Many international NGOs have been forced to leave the country due to the pressures exerted on them by the GoSL and in some cases have been expressly ordered to leave by the government. Others have not had their international staff's work visas or work permits renewed and thus have had to leave the country or have been unable to access the NorthEast.
Over 50 humanitarian workers have been killed over the past two years, the Action Contra La Faim 17 and the TRO 7 were the two major incidences, and there have been numerous attacks on NGO offices and personnel. The GoSL has also sought to hinder the work of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) by first freezing its bank accounts and then by "banning" it.
These actions have been aimed at reducing the amount of humanitarian aid reaching the NorthEast and preventing the international NGOs and UN Agencies from speaking out for fear that they will be forced to leave the country. The intention of the GoSL is now unequivocal and signals the imminent humanitarian devastation of the Tamils of the NorthEast.
Development, Relief and the Diaspora during the CFA
During this period international and local NGOs, parliamentarians, peace builders, and UN executives have been accused of being "terrorists", "terrorist sympathisers" and of "funding terrorism" by the GoSL. Civil Society has been pressured through intimidation and executions to prevent any effective humanitarian interventions. All avenues for the protection of Tamils and their right to life with dignity have been systematically eliminated. Now, even the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a strong witness to atrocities against Tamils, has been forced to leave.
The unilateral withdrawal by the GoSL from CFA has effectively closed the door to development for the people of NorthEast. The GoSL has also seriously hampered the delivery of relief and rehabilitation to the war and tsunami affected populations over the past 2 years and the Tamils areas lag far behind in tsunami recovery with Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) reporting that its investigations reveal that over US$535 million have gone missing in Sri Lanka.
After the signing of the CFA the International Community encouraged the Tamil Diaspora to become more directly involved in the peace process and development. The Tamil Diaspora contributed time, expertise and funds to help alleviate the suffering of the civilian population and deliver the expected "peace dividend".
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case and some countries over the past two years have actively sought to restrict the ability of the Tamil Diaspora to provide humanitarian assistance to those in the NorthEast. This is due to the negative campaigns and propaganda of the GoSL that attempt to characterize all Tamil voices critical of the GoSL as being "terrorists" or "terrorist supporters".
iTRO wishes to clearly state that the IC, through its policies and the exertion of power and influence, has had a significant degree of influence in engineering and steering the course of this conflict and the failed "peace process" to its current state of affairs and thus is culpable and must accept some responsibility for the impending calamity that is facing the Tamils.
To the people of Sri Lanka; Thank you and farewell! - SLLM
SLMM press statement 16 January 2008-01-16
Today, January 16 2008, marks the final day of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA)
period in Sri Lanka, that has lasted for almost six years. The Agreement signed
by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in
February 2002 outlined the mandate for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, as a
tool to watch the CFA implementation. Thus, the abrogation of the CFA also
implies the termination of the SLMM. In practical terms, this means that the
Nordic monitors will leave Sri Lanka today and early tomorrow morning, leaving
behind only a few personnel to wrap up administrative obligations related to the
closing down of the mission.
Sri Lanka NGOs Joint
Statement, 18 January 2008
Abrogation of Ceasefire Agreement Will Escalate Spiral of Violence
The government�s decision to abrogate the Norwegian-facilitated Ceasefire
Agreement (CFA) signed with the LTTE in 2002 is a matter of the gravest concern
to the undersigned civil society organisations. Truces historically tend not to
last long unless they culminate in a negotiated peace agreement. Unfortunately,
the conflicting parties were not willing to negotiate a political solution using
the point of entry to the peace process provided by the CFA that the government,
the LTTE, and the people of Sri Lanka could build on. Instead of such
negotiations, for the past two years the government and LTTE vocally supported a
ceasefire but actually engaged in a high level of hostilities tantamount to war,
including mounting human rights violations, the overrunning of forward defence
lines, capture of territory, artillery, sea and air bombing, and the large scale
displacement of people.
As civil society organisations deeply concerned about peace and human rights we
all supported the CFA. We were, however deeply concerned by the violations of
the CFA, the violations of human rights and incidents of violence committed
during this period; hence we saw the need for significant improvements on the
CFA and its implementation. With the increasing violence and distrust that
followed the collapse of peace talks, the parties came to recognize the need for
the CFA to be strengthened and even amended, but were unable to come to
agreement or to cease the bloodshed, resulting in a crisis of violence.
The presence of the SLMM deterred further violence and violations and the SLMM�s
removal now puts the populations in both the North and the South more at risk.
The Government rejection of a UN Human Rights field presence, the inability of
the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and the International Independent Group of
Eminent Persons (IIGEP) to make meaningful progress in discharging their
mandates, and the inability of the National Human Rights Commission to fulfill
its mandate and duties, combine to place respect for human rights in Sri Lanka
in further jeopardy.
We hope that this period of war and terror will soon come to an end, and reason and concern for human rights takes the conflicting parties back to the negotiating table and to end all armed hostilities, political assassinations and other criminal acts.
We urge all members of the international community who have been engaged in the advancement of peace through a negotiated settlement in Sri Lanka to stand by us at this difficult moment in our history and to use whatever modes of intervention they feel are appropriate to impress upon the government, the LTTE and all political actors in Sri Lanka the need to abandon the path of war and to return to a peace process immediately.