TNA urges International Community to act

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 15:59 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Wednesday condemned the GoSL and its peace secretariat for "duplicitous behavior" and "carrying on a malicious and false campaign to mislead the international community," and urged the International Community to "realize this reality and take the appropriate action to compel the Sri Lankan State to act in a responsible way in the interest of the peace process," in a press release issued in Colombo Wednesday.

Full text of the press release follows:

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentary Group urgently met in the backdrop of the grave events of Thursday 25th April 2006. In this regard the TNA wishes to place on record the following.

The GOSL and the LTTE met in Geneva on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2006 for talks on the implementation of the CFA. At the conclusion of the talks a statement was released stating that the GOSL and the LTTE were committed to respecting and upholding the CFA.

The GOSL and the LTTE also committed themselves to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or killings.

Further, the LTTE committed itself to taking all necessary measures to ensure that there will be no acts of violence against the security forces and the police. The GOSL in turn committed itself to taking all necessary measures in accordance with the CFA to ensure that no armed group or person other that the government security forces will carry arms or conduct armed operations. The parties also agreed to meet again in Geneva from the 19th to the 21st of April 2006.

Consequent to the agreements reached in Geneva, all hostile acts against the GOSL armed forces and the police were brought to an end. However, the GOSL delegation no sooner that they returned to Sri Lanka began to behave in a manner that was disrespectful, and undermined the said agreement. Further to this, the GOSL has failed to take any action whatsoever to disarm and dismantle the functioning of the paramilitaries / armed groups. Contrary to this, the violence and killings of paramilitaries and armed groups against the Tamil civilian population and the LTTE escalated many fold. The fact that the paramilitaries and armed groups worked together with the GOSL armed forces in all these activities is well known.

This is amply demonstrated by the attack on the LTTE forward defense lines in Vavunathivu, and the abduction of 5 LTTE cadres from Trincomalee in two separate incidents on 4/3/2006. From this date onwards the LTTE has been regularly targeted with the result in many cadres being killed and injured.

On the 5th of March 2006, with a civilian being targeted in Valachchenai, Batticaloa, killings against the civilians by the GOSL armed forces and its paramilitary groups also resumed in earnest. Up to date there have been over 85 Tamil speaking civilians been killed.

It is in one such incident that on the 7th of April 2006 Mr. V. Vigneswaran, the prominent TNA member who was to be appointed as a National List Member of Parliament to take the place of the late Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham was assassinated in a High Security Zone in broad daylight. The TNA wishes to stress that until this incident, there was no hostile acts whatsoever against the GOSL armed forces or the police. It should be noted that Hon. N. Raviraj who was returning from Trincomalee after attending the funeral of Mr. Vigneswaran was severely attacked by Sinhala thugs whilst the GOSL naval forces stood by.

Whilst this be the true state of affairs, the GOSL and its peace secretariat have been carrying on a malicious and false campaign to mislead the international community by stating that the GOSL and its armed forced have been demonstrating maximum restraint in the face of provocative action by the LTTE. The TNA condemns this duplicitous behavior of the GOSL and its peace secretariat.

The TNA wishes to stress that it is after a concerted State terror campaign against Tamil civilians and the LTTE that from 8th of April 2006 the GOSL armed forces and the police began to be targeted.

In addition to the above the TNA wishes to state the following with regard to the anti-Tamil racist pogroms that have been taking place in Trincomalee of late. The said pogroms commenced within minutes of a bomb explosion in a market on 12th April 2006. Instantly, more than 30 Tamil shops were selectively robbed and burnt by Sinhala thugs with either the support of the GOSL armed forces or whilst they stood by. In addition over 20 Tamil civilians were brutally murdered. That the Sinhala thugs were unleashed on the Tamil civilian population by being brought by the truckloads should be taken serious note of. Judging from the various eyewitness accounts of the systematic way in which the Trincomalee incidents unfolded, the TNA has little doubt that the whole episode was orchestrated to ethnically cleanse Trincomalee of the Tamil people, which has been a policy of the Sri Lankan State for over 50 years.

There can be little doubt that the attack on the 25th of April 2006 within the Army Headquarters in Colombo was a direct consequence of the State terror that has been unleashed against the Tamil civilian population of the Northeast, despite the Geneva round of talks. Consequent to this incident, Tamil and Muslim villages situated in Trincomalee and Muttur have come under indiscriminate air, sea and land bombing and shelling, that has resulted in the death of at least 12 Tamil speaking civilians, inclusive of a 2 year old child and a Muslim Moulavi. Apart from this several civilians have been seriously injured. The immense sense of insecurity that has been created by the indiscriminate and blatantly anti-Tamil actions of the GOSL armed forces has also resulted in over forty thousand Tamil civilians leaving GOSL controlled areas and taking refuge in LTTE controlled areas.

The reasons for the current grave situation that is fast deteriorating in to a complete breakdown of the CFA, is clearly due to the GOSL systematically sabotaging the agreements reached at Geneva, coupled with the GOSL acting irresponsibly with regard to providing transport to the senior Eastern Commanders of the LTTE, that have effectively prevented the second round of Geneva talks from taking place.

If the International Community fails to realize this reality and take the appropriate action to compel the Sri Lankan State to act in a responsible way in the interest of the peace process, the TNA fears that the result would be a further escalation that would inevitably lead to the complete breakdown of the CFA.

MAVAI S. SENATHIRAJAH M.P. (On behalf of the TNA Parliamentary Group)


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