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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Cabinet decides to withdraw the CFA entered with the Tamil Tigers

Colombo, 02 January, ( In today’s Cabinet meeting a proposal was put forward by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, in his capacity as Minister of Defence, to withdraw the Ceasefire agreement entered between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on 22 February 2002. The proposal has been approved by the Cabinet and it has been further decided to appoint a ministerial cabinet sub-committee to look in to legal aspects of withdrawing the Ceasefire Agreement.

According to the Ceasefire Agreement, paragraph 4.4, the agreement shall remain in force until notice of termination is given by either Party to the Royal Norwegian Government. Such notice shall be given fourteen (14) days in advance of the effective date of termination.

The ceasefire agreement was signed on 22 February 2002, between Ranil Wickremasinghe, who was then the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Velupillai Prabakaran, Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

This Ceasefire Agreement was said to have been presented to the Sri Lanka Government by Norway who continues to play the role of Peace facilitators for talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.

It was alleged that the CFA legitimize the claims of LTTE having under its control Vanni in the North which consisted of Kilinochchi, Mullaithievu and a section of Mannar districts and also a section of vast land area in the East.

The purpose of the CFA was to hold talks to end the conflict. Unfortunately the talks did not continue as expected and even Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a creation under the CFA to monitor violations was helpless in monitoring the violations as it was an organization without any teeth to bite.

According to SLMM, it was reported that LTTE violated the CFA more than 3000 times. In fact nothing came out of the CFA violation reports. LTTE continued with its violation with impunity.

Recently Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse in an interview publicly suggested that CFA is just a joke and it should be scrapped and also LTTE be banned.

Given below the full text of the relavent portion of the interview with Gothabaya Rajapakse which appeared in the last Sunday Observer.

Q:Do you think that there is a need to abolish the CFA?

A: Yes. The vital fact is there is no CFA and it is just a document. The CFA is a joke. We had signed several peace agreements and they are still in existence.

Indo-Lanka agreement is still there. When signing a new peace agreement, the previous peace agreements should be abolished but it never happened. I think since Thimpu we have so many peace agreements.

I believe that the most sensible thing is that we must abolish the ceasefire agreement. It should be officially end. The CFA is there and every day it is violated making the CFA a big joke.

Officially we should say that there is no ceasefire agreement and we should ban the LTTE because it is a terrorist organisation. I think these two steps - banning the LTTE and officially declaring the abolition of the CFA should be done immediately.

Then the President can come out with a new set of proposals to address the problems of the Tamil people. One should remember that we should not give solutions for the LTTE, which is a terrorist organisation. Our solutions should be for the Tamil people and their leaders.

Q: But President Rajapaksa has recently said that the government will ban the LTTE if they continue to attack?

A: Probably the President wants to give the LTTE some opportunities to come forward for negotiations. But my personal opinion is to ban the LTTE immediately.

- Asian Tribune -

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