Buddhist monks demand abolition of CFA
[TamilNet, Monday, 12 February 2007, 22:10 GMT]
The National Bhikku Front, an organization of Buddhist monks, started an indefinite sit on protest in front of Viharamadevi Park around 11:00 a.m. Monday demanding the immediate abolition of the
Norwegian brokered Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on 22 February 2002. More than 50 monks were present at the start of the protest ceremoniously by chanting of hymns praising Lord Buddha. Seven
monks joined the sit-in.
The monks demanded that CFA should be torn off immediately
saying the agreement paves the way for separation. They also blamed the government for failing to abolish the Agreement that completes five
years on 21 February. They wowed to continue their sit on protest until the 22nd February.
Abrogation of pacts and agreements is not new to Colombo governments.The first agreement reached between then Prime Minister, SWRD Bandaranayake (from Sri Lanka Freedom Party- SLFP) and Tamil Leader SJV Selvanayagam was torn when the then leader of United National Party (UNP) JR Jayewardene (who later became the
first President of Sri Lanka in 1978) led a March to Kandy demanding the abolition of the pact in 1958.
Later, when the then UNP Prime Minster,
Dudley Senanayake, signed a Pact with SJV Selvanayagam in 1965 SLFP agitated until the Pact was declared defunct.
In 1979, the UNP government under the leadership of JR Jayewardene sought the support of the Tamil Party, Tamil United Liberation Front
(TULF) led by A. Amirthalingam to pass the bill of Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in the Parliament saying that they brought the Bill as temporary measure. However, the draconian PTA still in force in Sri Lanka, after 28 years.
Then JR Jayewardene signed the Indo- Sri Lanka Peace Accord with the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. One of the provisions mandated in the accord is to merge North and East as a single unit until a referendum held to
decide the fate. Recently, however, the highly politicized Sri Lanka judiciary declared the provision unconstitutional.