Colombo should disarm all unauthorized armed groups- NPC

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 February 2005, 17:55 GMT]
The National Peace Council in a media release issued Friday in Colombo said that "there needs to be confidence building and positive action at this time is imperative in view of consistent accusations by the LTTE of alleged military connivance in the activities of the Karuna group. We call on the government to ensure that all unauthorised armed groups are disarmed as required by the Ceasefire Agreement."

Full Text of NPC's media release follows:

"The assassination of the LTTE's eastern political leader Kausalyan and the killings of five others, including former TNA parliamentarian Chandra Nehru who was also a member of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights serve as a grim reminder of the flawed and fragile nature of the current ceasefire in which violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and of human rights have proliferated. The recent killings have also shattered the hopes of people that the tsunami tragedy would have brought reconciliation between the conflicting parties. The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's condemnation of the killings as a setback to the peace process highlights the gravity of the situation and the concern of the international community.

The National Peace Council condemns the killing of Kausalyan and others in a highly militarised part of the east between Welikanda and Punani. Those who are parties to the Ceasefire Agreement must do their utmost to honour the agreement and to ensure protection to one another. When unarmed LTTE cadre and civilians pass through government-controlled territory the need for tightened security precautions on both sides becomes necessary as indeed required by the Ceasefire Agreement.

The National Peace Council welcomes the government's immediate condemnation of the killings. That there needs to be confidence building and positive action at this time is imperative in view of consistent accusations by the LTTE of alleged military connivance in the activities of the Karuna group. We call on the government to ensure that all unauthorised armed groups are disarmed as required by the Ceasefire Agreement and that the promise made in Parliament to appoint an independent commission of inquiry into this incident is followed up.

The aftermath of the tsunami disaster created humanitarian space that enabled members of the government and LTTE to come together on the ground to resolve the problems of the people. We recognise that their mutual focus was mainly on the provision of relief and the facilitation of relief efforts. However, the killing of Kausalyan and others, and the importance of the position that Kausalyan held serve as a clarion call to all sections of Sri Lankan society to give their primary attention to the speedy resumption of peace talks.

The equitable and efficient provision of relief to the victims of the tsunami cannot be separated from the urgent need re-activate the peace process. The support extended by the international community to Sri Lanka for the setting up of a shared mechanism for the disbursement of tsunami relief provides an opportunity for confidence building for both sides. It is imperative that this opportunity provided by the generosity of the international community be grasped. We appeal to the government and to the LTTE to utilise the goodwill generated by cooperation in the distribution of tsunami relief as a first step to revive the peace process without delay."

 

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