2ND LEAD (UPDATE)

CFA has to be revived says Lankan Chief of Defence

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 December 2005, 13:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Chief of Defence Staff, Daya Sandagiri, during a press meet in Colombo Friday ruled out Sri Lanka armed forces going to war but said that they will be prepared to meet any military situation that may arise. He said that the military leadership has submitted a report to SL President Mahinda Rajapakse concluding that the Cease Fire Agreement has to be revived and that Mr Rajapakse will make the final decision on this matter.

SL Military chiefs, IGP press conference
While vowing to be fully prepared to face any challenges to the country's security and sovereignty, he said that the armed forces will cooperate in continuing to abide by the provisions of the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA).

"If the other party concerned decides to break the agreement then the armed forces will be forced to confront that challenge," he added.

During the ceasefire, both the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE have strengthened their military capabilities, he said. "Although LTTE has taken more advantage of the CFA, we do not consider this as a major concern," he added.

The newly appointed Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Sarath Foneseka addressing the press conference said his army will pursue talks with the political leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The press conference was also addressed by Inspector General of Police, Chandra Fernando and Air Force Comander, Air Vice Marshal Donald Perera.

The officials said that the armed forces are prepared to meet any challenge, if threatened.

Daya Sandagiri said the recent violent incidents will not drag the armed forces into a full scale conflict.

"Since the signing of the CFA there have been 348 killings in the north and east and 564 have been injured. 149 of those killed and 239 of those injured were Tamils. This clearly shows that during the cease-fire most of those affected have been Tamils," the IGP said.

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Commander said that it has now been confirmed that LTTE has built an air capability by acquiring two or three small fixed-wing aircraft. The SLAF will continue to monitor the developments in this matter, he said.

 

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