2ND LEAD

Norwegian Tamils march against abrogation of CFA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 21:56 GMT]
Abrogation of the CFA by the Government of Sri Lanka has removed the only reporting body of human rights and humanitarian law violations that take place in Sri Lanka, said K. Sivapalan, a senior attorney-at-law from Trincomalee, addressing four hundred participants, mainly members of the Tamil diaspora, who participated in a march carrying torches towards the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo, expressing solidarity with the Tamils in the homeland Wednesday evening.

K. Sivapalan
K. Sivapalan
Although the SLMM had become ineffective in its original role as monitors due to fragile peace, it served as a reporting body in the absence of an alternate international institution to monitor the human rights situation in the island where the national Human Rights Commission was not functioning optimally, said Mr. Sivapalan, who had served as a member of the Local Monitoring Committee (LMC) of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee, in the begining.

Giving an example of a Internationally exposed human rights violation, he said, those who were responsible for the massacre of 17 humanitarian workers of the International NGO Action Contre La Faim (ACF) in Moothoor in Trincomalee were brought out to the notice of the world by the SLMM. "If not for their action, this grave incident could have also been swept under the carpet."

Common people are going to be the sufferers in Colombo's abrogation of the CFA, also viewed as an exercise to satisfy the 'spoilers' of the peace process, the Sinhala nationalist JVP and the extreme all monks party, the JHU, he said.

Rune Tokle, Labour Party reprentative shaking hands with Erling Folkevold, a representative of the Norwegian Red Electoral Alliance (RV) [R]. Yogarajah Balasingham, a Tamil political activist, K. Sivapalan, the attorney-at-Law from Trincomalee, and Finn Martin Vallesnes, Member of foreign affairs committee in parliament.
Norwegian Tamils march
Norwegian Tamils march
Norwegian Tamils march
In spite of many shortfalls, the CFA was the first internationally witnessed agreement of ceasefire that was entered between the LTTE, recognised as representing the Tamil side with territories under their control, and the Government of Sri Lanka, the attorney-at-law further said. This abrogation was not something that was unexpected by the Tamils as many agreements entered into have been unilaterally abrogated by the GoSL, he said.

At the end of the march, the organisors, the Norwegian Tamil Forum (NTF), submitted a memorandum to Mr. Finn Martin Vallesnes, Member of foreign affairs committee in parliament condemning Sri Lanka government's abrupt abrogation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) and thanking Norway for its efforts so far albeit without success.

Jan Bøhler, Labour Party parliamentarian and leader of the Oslo Labour Party, Erling Folkevord, former leader for the Norwegian Red Electoral Alliance (RV) and member of the Oslo Municipality, Finn Martin Vallesnes, Rune Tokle, secretary of the Oslo Labour Party.

Following is the full text of the memorandum handed over to Finn Martin Vallesnes:

"We, the Norwegians of Tamil origin, strongly condemn the abrupt abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government, by the Government of Sri Lanka.

"Whilst thanking Norway for their efforts so far albeit without success, we would like to bring to your notice, the Law and Order and Human Rights situation which is worse than that of Burma and this is going to bring additional hardship to the civilians.

"The people in Jaffna are already living in an open Prison with many persons including University students being tortured and killed daily.

"The Tamil people in Batticaloa and Trincomalee and elsewhere including capital Colombo are being abducted, tortured and killed by paramilitary forces working with the armed forces of the Government.

"In the absence of SLMM and any other International Human Rights monitoring Mission, the situation will be aggravated further as there will be none even to report on these atrocities. The safety of the local monitoring committee members is also at stake.

"This will lead to genocide of our kith and kin back home without any witnesses.

"We appeal to the Royal Norwegian Government, Co-Chairs and the International Community to assist in putting in place a monitoring mechanism to safeguard our people."

Norwegian Tamils march

 

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