Colombo accepts CFA in toto, Balasingham tells Sunday Leader

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 February 2006, 21:39 GMT]
LTTE's Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist, Anton Balasingham, in an exclusive interview with Sunday Leader, said that although the talks were difficult and tough, the Sri Lanka Government has "accepted the meaning and content of this document [Cease Fire Agreement]," and on the issue of paramilitaries he said: "we have told the government, you better start disarming these groups and put an end to their armed military operations so that we could send our cadres to the north and east.We are ready to do that.And if anything happens to them, it will constitue a very very serious violation of the joint statement issued by both the parties."

Mr. Anton Balasingham, LTTE's Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist
Mr. Anton Balasingham, LTTE's Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist
Balasingham said his team was disappointed that the Government team came with the idea of amending the CFA and that he had to convey strongly that the mandate given to him by LTTE Leader Pirapaharan was only to talk about "implementation," and that they will walk out "if anybody raises anything or starts discussing constitutional or legal problems pertaining to this document."

PDF IconFull text of Sunday Leader Interview with Balasingham

In relation to CFA, Balasingham said that he reminded the Government delegation that claiming CFA to be incorrect tantamounts to their giving "two weeks notice for the resumption of hostilities." The Government delegation then agreed with the LTTE's position, the paper said quoting Balasingham.

Paper confirmed from Balasingham that "the understanding at the end of the two days of talks is that the government of Sri Lanka and that of President Mahinda Rajapakse have in fact accepted this CFA, every word, every comma, every full-stop."

Although the Government delegation accused the LTTE of killing Lakshman Kadirgarmar, they were unable to provide any evidence, Balasingham told the paper.

On the future of the talks Balasingham said that only two issues, the paramilitaries and under-age recruitment have been dealt with in the current talks. Problems related to the displacement of people due to the High Security Zone will figure prominently in the next round of talks, Balasingham told the paper.

On the question of ISGA being taken up for discussion, Balasingham said: "Political issues will come only when there is a total de-escalation and normalisation of civilian life in the north and east."

 

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