NGOs condemn U.S. military analysts’ visit to Jaffna
[TamilNet, Friday, 24 December 2004, 04:25 GMT]
Several people’s organizations in the Jaffna district have strongly condemned what they said was a secret visit by a group of U.S. military analysts to Jaffna with Sri Lanka's Army to study the security situation of SLA's frontline positions in the district. The organizations have sent letters to register their protest to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo and other international organizations, according to media reports in Sri Lanka and in the North-East.
The Consortium of People’s Organizations (CPO) in Jaffna, in its petition to the U.S Embassy, says that according to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), the checkpoints and military camps located within populous areas should have been gradually dismantled, but nothing of that sort has taken place.
“The acts of the American miitary team of visiting and making studies and assessments of the [Sri Lanka] military camps and front line defense arrangements in the Jaffna area, done with the facilities provided by Sri Lankan government at a time when the affected people in Tamil areas are taking forward their struggle to fulfill their aspirations, is viewed by us as one reflecting the war mania on the part of the Sri Lankan government,” the CPO said.
The Tamil National Vigilance Organisation in its petition says that the military visit “shatters Tamil People's hope and expectations regarding peace. The American government must stop acts of this kind which affect the peace process, and instead it should exert heavy pressure on the Sri Lankan government to restart talks on the basis of LTTE's proposals for Interim Self Government Authority."
The Jaffna University Employees' Union states in its petition:
"Three years have passed since the commencement of the CFA and in today's situation where there is neither war nor peace, and [there is an] absence of normalcy, the people are prompted to carry out peaceful campaign against the Sri Lankan government stressing the need for peace.
"The Jaffna University Employees Union vehemently condemns the act of the American military analysts secretly visiting the Sri Lankan military frontlines in the Jaffna district at a time like this, which has the effect of stirring and encouraging the Sri Lankan government in the guise of making a study of the security situation."
The Tamil People's Organisation for Human Rights and Development in its petitions states, “America must perceive the Liberation struggle of the Tamil people from the right angle. We are not opposed to the American state seeking information regarding the ground situation directly. But when this is done exclusively with the assistance of the Sri Lankan military personnel, it generates fear and arouses suspicion in our minds."