Tigers reject Colombo's "pre-conditions" for re-entry of political cadres

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 09:29 GMT]
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in a letter addressed to the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) on Wednesday accused Colombo of imposing pre-conditions for the re-entry of their political cadres into Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas in the NorthEast. Rejecting the concept of "new pre-condtions," the Tigers charged Colombo of violating the understanding reached in Geneva in re-establishing the status quo that existed prior to the LTTE decision to withdraw political cadres. The letter, released to media by the LTTE Peace Secretariat, urged the monitors to ensure the conditions for the re-entry of their political cadres in "strict accordance" with the CFA agreement.

Full text of the letter follows:

"We have for our immediate attention the copy of the letter from Secretary General, SCOPP dated 20 March 2006 to you and the letter from Head of District SLMM of 21 March 2006 addressed to Mr.Ilamparithy, Head of LTTE Jaffna Political Wing enumerating "pre-conditions" for the re-entry of our political cadres into military occupied parts of the Tamil homeland.

"We reject the concept of anybody laying conditions for our members doing political work with our people. Geneva Talks and the understanding ensued therein is totally nullified by this stance of the SriLankan government. If delivery of the peace dividend, normalcy and confidence building are the noble goals of all those who worked hard to make Geneva talks a reality, we are afraid that this posturing of the GoSL and its military is not going to be a step in the right direction.

"Please understand that the agenda for the Geneva talks was set to focus attention on one issue that is the smooth implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). Taken up for discussion in Geneva during the two days was the subject of the activities of para-militaries in military occupied parts of the Tamil homeland. In the context of normalcy and re-entry of LTTE political cadres as provided for in the CFA, it was the security threat posed by the para-militaries working in collusion with the Sri Lankan Armed forces that resulted in our withdrawing political members. This brought about a political vacuum for the Tamil people in military occupied areas. What was necessary therefore was the immediate stoppage of para-military activities; a matter that was discussed at length for two days and a decision arrived at. Based on the understanding reached the government is obliged to ensure that a para-military violence-free atmosphere is created to bring about normalcy.

"It is this guarantee that we sought in our last meeting with you related to the re-entry of our political cadres into parts of Tamil homeland under military occupation. Translated into ground reality, it is the status quo that existed prior to our decision to withdraw political cadres that we need guarantee at this stage and not new conditions from Colombo. All our sincere attempts to put the peace process on track by working with our people and build confidence are being brought to ridicule by this unwise move. A matter that has gained the support of the international community and the Tamil people who are the real stakeholders, is now being drawn into a quagmire of petty politics.

"You are aware of the tumultuous public welcome the LTTE members received on entering the military occupied parts of the Tamil homeland immediately after the CFA's provisions enabled political work in those areas. You are also aware of the fact that the Tamil people overwhelmingly mandated the LTTE to represent them in political negotiations that can bring about a political arrangement that would free them from military occupation. It is ridiculous therefore to find that the very same military that is considered as an occupying force is dictating the way in which political work should be undertaken. No freedom loving people in any part of the world would approve of this hard line attitude of the military of a government that professes ad nauseam that it is for a negotiated peace settlement, confidence building being one of the essential building blocks of the process. Instead of taking measures to wipe out terrorism perpetrated by the para-militaries working with the military as agreed upon in Geneva, the government is seemingly engaged in a process of retarding the entire process.

"We look forward to receive from you a positive reply after interaction with the government enabling our political cadres to re-enter military occupied parts of the Tamil homeland strictly in accordance with the relative provisions of the CFA and not bound by any other extraneous conditions put forward by the SCOPP and the Sri Lankan Armed forces."


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