TNA rejects joining SL President's Advisory Council for Peace

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 October 2004, 10:42 GMT]
"It is our considered view that if the government takes clear and courageous action to recommence the negotiations, which the Government's has hitherto to failed do, the peace process can be taken forward... We would strongly urge you to implement what you enunciated at the meeting with the TNA parliamentary group on 10th June," Mr.R.Sampanthan, Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader said in a letter to Sri Lanka's President Ms Kumaratunge officially informing the TNA's decision of rejecting her invitation to attend the National Advisory Council for Peace and Reconciliation.

"We take the view that we should not aid you to resile from the commitment made to the TNA parliamentary group on 10th June," stressed Mr.Sampanthan in his letter sent to Ms Kumaratunge Monday.

Full text of the letter follows:

" I refer to the letter dated 17th September received by me, by post in regard to the National Advisory Council for Peace and Reconciliation.

At the meet of the TNA parliamentary made up of its constituent parties, and comprising 22 members elected to Parliament, on the ticket of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi, held on 22nd September, it was unanimously decided that the TNA will not participate at the meetings of the above council.

The unanimous view of the Parliamentary was:

That at the meeting you held with the TNA parliamentary group on 10th June, you unambiguously stated that though you initially wanted discussion on the ISGA proposals, to commence with discussions on core issue, relating to the final solution, more time being devoted to the former and lesser time to the latter, you had become flexible, and that though you had reservations in regard to some of the ISGA proposals, you were prepared to commence discussions with the LTTE only on the basis of the ISGA proposals, without linking the same to any other issue. You also briefly outline your proposed line of action after arriving at an arrangement with the LTTE on the ISGA proposals.

That you should implement the policy enunciated to the parliamentary group of the TNA on 10th June. The failure of Sinhala political leadership to honour commitments made to democratic Tamil political leadership is the prime cause of the present conflict. We take the view that we should not aid you to resile from the commitment made to the TNA parliamentary group on 10th June.

Other significant matters that have to be borne in the mind are:

The statement made by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the Norwegian facilitator, that once discussions commence on the ISGA proposals submitted by the LTTE on 31st October, 2003 discussions could also take place on matters relating to the ISGA brought to the negotiating table by the Government and that they were eagerly awaiting the commencement of such discussions.

The public statement made by the UNP that the government and the LTTE should commence talks on the ISGA proposals, and that the UNP would unconditionally support an agreement that is concluded at such discussions between the Government and the LTTE.

Our experience in the past has that "All Party" fora and "National" councils only result in delay and drift and do not produce any positive result. We are convinced that the current imitative will also end similarly.

The JVP, the government's main alliance partner, and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a party represented in parliament stridently oppose the commencement of talks on the ISGA proposals. This must inevitable result in the proposed national Advisory Council on Peace and Reconciliation becoming an exercise in futility. It would only retard the recommencement of the peace process, in a meaningful way.

It is our considered view that if the government takes clear and courageous action to recommence the negotiations, which the Government's has hitherto to failed do, the peace process can be taken forward. Such a stand will in our view, receive substantial support within Parliament and in the country.

We would strongly urge you to implement what you enunciated at the meeting with the TNA parliamentary group on 10th June.

In the circumstances, we shall not be attending the meetings of the above council," said Mr.Sampanthan in his letter to the President.

 

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