LTTE leader calls for negotiations
[TamilNet, Friday, 27 November 1998, 18:12 GMT]
In his Heroes Day speech, LTTE leader, Vellupillai Pirabhakaran, said the Tigers were willing to negotiate an end the conflict in Sri Lanka. However, he said the LTTE favoured third party mediation and ruled out talks based on pre-conditions. "We have not close the doors for peace. We are open to the civilized method of resolving conflicts through rational dialogue", he said. However, he expressed doubts the Sri Lankan government would negotiate in earnest.
"We want the political negotiations to be held in an atmosphere of peace and normalcy, free from the conditions of war, military aggression and economic blockades," said the LTTE leader.
"We are not stipulating any pre-conditions for peace talks. We are suggesting the creation of a climate of peace and goodwill to hold peace talks, a congenial environment in which our people must be free from the heavy burden of suffering imposed on them", he said.
"We hold the view that political negotiations cannot be free, fair and just if the Government utilises the military aggression on our soil and the restrictions imposed on the economic life of our people as political pressures," said Pirabhakaran.
"We are prepared to engage in initial talks to discuss the removal of such pressures and to workout a basic frame work for political negotiations" he said.
The LTTE leader said he doubted the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge was sincerely seeking a negotiated solution, and said a third party mediator was needed to ensure talks were effective.
"Since the Sinhala leadership lacks the political will and sincerity to resolve the problem we favour third party mediation for political negotiations. But we are not prepared to accept any pre-conditions for political dialogue" he said.
"We do not believe that Chandrika, who has become the author of the most blood strained chapter in the history of oppression of the Tamils, will bring peace to the country by resolving the Tamil national issue by peaceful means" he said, adding "She is a firm believer in a military solution and lives in an illusion that political conflicts can be solved by military means".
Sinhala-Buddhist racism was the obstacle to peace, said the LTTE leader.
"It is none other than the anti-Tamil attitude of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism that has turned Sri Lanka into a blazing cauldron of violence" he said, adding "The Sinhala nation wants to continue the war to subjugate the Tamil nation".
"We do not anticipate that the hawkish and racist attitude of Sinhala chauvinism will undergo fundamental transformation. If such change does not take place Sinhala chauvinism will bear the responsibility for creating the concrete historical conditions for the birth of independent Tamil state" he concluded.