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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2647

Tamilselvam threatens to leave peace talks permanently if Sri Lankan Army does not stop its offensive

Colombo, 05 October, (Asiantribune.com): In a media interview held in Killinochchi, S. P. Tamilselvam, former bodyguard of Velupillai Prabhakaran and current head of the Political Wing of the LTTE said: "We have today (Wednesday, 04 October) informed Norway very clearly that if the offensive campaigns against our people are pursued by the Sri Lanka Army, then we will leave the peace talks permanently until the aggressive Sri Lanka Army leaves our homeland area. We will not be in a position to participate thereafter in any peace process.S.P. Tamilselvan: "We have the capability to make the Sri Lanka armed forces to succumb.S.P. Tamilselvan: "We have the capability to make the Sri Lanka armed forces succumb.

We have accepted the request of the international community and indicated our willingness for the talks. But in case Sri Lanka Army continues with its offensive campaign and try to seize our lands then definitely we will not have any chance of continuously participating in the peace process. Then we will make a public announcement and we will take required measures to evict the aggressors from our soil. This would be something that would be inevitable.

Therefore, it is not in our hands to deliver any positive result to the request of the international community, though we have expressed our willingness to participate in the talks. Now it is entirely in the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka,” he said.

Tamilselvan met the media after he had discussions with Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the Norwegian Special Envoy who is currently on his latest mission to kick start the stalled talks after the LTTE left Geneva 2 conference at the last minute, without notice.

He told the media that the LTTE delegation met the Norwegian Envoy and his delegation and had a free and frank discussion with them.

The discussion he said centered on the prevailing situation and also about the concerns of the international community.

Here is text of Tamilselvan’s interview with the media in Kilinochchi.

"Jon Hanssen-Bauer’s mission is meant to meet both the parties and to bring an end to the war-like situation that is prevailing today. This is what the Norwegian Envoy told us.

"He told us that Sri Lanka Government has agreed and accepted the request of the Sri Lanka Donor countries for both the parties to meet unconditionally, and also end all attacks. But no assurance from the Sri Lanka Government was given to us.

"Therefore we also informed our position taking into confidence the international community and not the Government of Sri Lanka.

"We have already conveyed our willingness to participate in the talks, as a last resort, on the insistence of the international community. Therefore whether the talks would be disrupted or not is not dependent on us. This is in the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Army.

"We were not informed of any conditions.

"Spokespersons on behalf of Sri Lanka, Ministers, Mahinda Rajapakse are continuously conveying different views. Their views are contradictory to one another.

"What Norway told us was that we need not take any decisions based on newspaper reports or views expressed by the Ministers. We should take note of only what is conveyed officially. He requested us to take decisions based only on what is conveyed to them by the facilitators.

"Going on this basis we only see many pointless statements made by the Ministers of the Sri Lanka Government.

The Liberation Tigers have conveyed that the Ceasefire Agreement is still in force.

"The Sri Lanka Government while informing that they are ready for negotiation, respecting the Ceasefire Agreement, has launched a large scale offensive against our people. Sri Lanka Government has launched a full scale war by brutally killing our people, or placing them as internally displaced people which results in many of our people ending up in the missing list. It means aggression against our homeland. We have explained in detail to the international community to understand the true position clearly.

"In today’s meeting we have requested that there should be assurance to confirm the upholding of the Ceasefire Agreement.

"We also queried whether the Ceasefire Agreement is still in force? Whether the activities of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission will be continued? We emphasized that A-9 Road must be opened up. A-9 Road must be opened up and our people humanitarian needs must be fulfilled. This is a basic clause in the Ceasefire Agreement. This basic concept of the ceasefire agreement has to be put in practice to bring about a peaceful atmosphere. We have clearly emphasized to the Norwegian delegation our concerns about the opening of the A 9 Road.

"By closing down the A -9 Road has forced a situation by which many lakhs of people to suffer without food. Sri Lanka Government has put in place an economic embargo.

"We have pointed out today that this is a gross violation of the ceasefire agreement as well as basic human rights

"Recently the Donor countries met and requested that both parties must meet and agree to stop offensive campaigns. Fully respecting the request of the international community our leadership has indicated its willingness for the same. However Sri Lanka Army continues with its ruthless offensive against our people which has created a tragic human situation, killed workers belonging to the international humanitarian organizations, and added to the list of missing people. Sri Lanka Army is seriously involved in such inhuman activities contrary to the Ceasefire Agreement.

"Similarly Sri Lanka Government is not at all respecting the Ceasefire Agreement. They have forcibly stopped the functioning of the SLMM. We have made it very clearly today to Norway that our leadership has conveyed its willingness for talks respecting the request of the international community,

"In case Sri Lanka Army continues with it offensive campaign in our areas there will definitely be changes in our approach,

"We have today informed Norway very clearly that if the offensive campaigns against our people are pursued by the Sri Lanka Army, then we will leave the peace talks permanently until the aggressive Sri Lanka Army leaves our homeland area. We will not be in a position to participate thereafter in any peace process.

"We have accepted the request of the international community and indicated our willingness for the talks. But in case Sri Lanka Army continues with its offensive campaign and try to seize our lands then definitely we will not have any chance of continuously participating in the peace process. Then we will make a public announcement and we will take required measures to evict the aggressors from our soil. This would be something that would be inevitable.

"Therefore, it is not in our hands to deliver any positive result to the request of the international community, though we have expressed our willingness to participate in the talks. Now it is entirely in the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka,” he said.

When the Sri Lanka Army launches its offensive campaign against us then our activities against them will intensify. Sri Lanka Government has launched military campaigns against our people in our areas and has brought about a tragic human situation. They have violated the basic human rights of our people. Not only our people but also the international community too is affected by this. They are even killing the international aid workers who were in their own office premises. Now they are killing even the Muslim peoples. In all aspects, Sri Lanka Army while being involved in abductions and killings have launched a serious campaign violating the basic human rights of our people. This is being implemented with full blessings of the Sri Lanka Government.

To prevent the media coming out with the truth they are being threatened and measures against the media persons are threatened or abducted. Human rights violations are committed at a dangerous level by the Government of Sri Lanka. The international community, it seems, is fully aware of this distressing state of affairs and they continue to condemn the Government of Sri Lanka through their statements.

"To find solution to the atrocities let loose by the Sri Lankan Army is not something the Liberation Tigers alone can handle. Entire people must unite together to chase the aggressive army out of a region and to open up our roads for our people to enable them to live in peace and harmony, with honor, dignity and independence without facing threats and intimidation. All of us have to unite and we have to jointly make such a decision. Our people are urging us to take such a move.

"Our people will definitely unite to end the aggression against our people. We are faced with such a compulsion. If they want a solution through war then they must publicly announced their decision of leaving from the Ceasefire Agreement, then we will also play our part accordingly.

"We have the capability to make the Sri Lanka armed forces to succumb. All our people are getting ready for that. They are readying themselves for the same cause. We cannot beg for our rights. We have to wage war to get our rights. Even our people are forcing us into such a situation.

"In the earlier days whenever our homeland came under aggression and attacked our people stood united against such aggressions. They always stood behind our leader, behind our struggle and as they rallied around us we were able to break the shackles and come up to present position. Even when a testing time emerges in the future we will remain united and rally behind our leader and victoriously overcome them," said Tamilselvam.

- Asian Tribune -

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