Engage in peace talks, Thondaman tells Colombo
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 December 2006, 11:52 GMT]
"Sri Lanka Government should give up the idea of proscribing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who fight for the rights of the Tamils and engage in peace talks instead," said Arumugam Thondaman, the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and a minister in the Sri Lanka government (GoSL), in a statement released Tuesday in Colombo.
Excerpts from the statement follows:
The CWC requests the GoSL to refrain from proscribing the LTTE who are engaged in a struggle to regain the rights of the Tamils.
In 1998, though we were in the ruling regime, we protested against the proscription of the LTTE when the government intended to proscribe the LTTE.
Now too, we are completely against the decision of proscribing LTTE. We want the GoSL to resolve the conflict through peace talks only.
The CWC urges the GoSL not to opt for a war but to take the necessary steps to engage in peace initiatives.
The country is rife with killings. Yet, the option for a war by both sides has resulted only in losses, but not in any solution.
Proscribing the LTTE, after completely abandoning efforts to engage in peace talks, is setting Sri Lanka for more destruction.
The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will create a climate where innocent people of all ethnic groups will loose their freedom.
We reiterate the fact that peace negotiations should be held to find a permanent solution for the ethnic issue so that the Tamils of the north and east living under extraordinary circumstances could find relief.
Every one is aware that Late Saumiamoorthy Thondaman had, from the inception, continued to exert pressure on the GoSL to resolve the problems of the north and east immediately.
We too demand the government to do the same.
The problems of the Tamils may differ from one constituency to another. But to take measures like proscription as a means to weaken Tamils' strength is not advisable.
We appeal to the GoSL to consider the problems of the minority with a broader mindset and to take steps to solve the conflict through peace talks.