LTTE accuses Kumaratunga of conspiring to sabotage ceasefire
[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 March 2002, 08:34 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Saturday accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her adviser Mr Laksman Kadirgamar of conspiring to sabotage the historic truce agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE brokered by Norwegian facilitators and hailed by all major international governments including India, the Commonwealth and the European Union. When contacted by TamilNet over the President's comments Friday, Mr Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and the political strategist of the LTTE, categorised Kumaratunga's response to the truce agreement as "irresponsible, injurious and ill-advised."
Mr Balasingham told TamilNet that "the central arguments advanced by President Kumaratunga were based on pathological hatred, bitterness and paranoia rather than on any discrepancies in the logical structure of the cease-fire document."
"Her argument that certain articles in the truce agreement have compromised the island's sovereignty and national security is untenable and fallacious. The concepts and categories employed in the cease-fire document such as 'forward defence localities', 'demarcation lines', 'areas controlled by the parties', 'check points on the line of control' do correspond and reflect the actuality of the ground situation and have been formulated with the consent of the parties concerned after careful scrutiny. To argue that these categories are 'highly evocative expressions' capable of 'destabilising the region' and linking them to Kashmir conflict is preposterous and ridiculous," Mr Balasingham observed.
"We are well aware that Mr Kadirgamar, the architect of Kumaratunga's letter, is over- sensitive about the concept of sovereignty. We wish to impress upon him that sovereignty denotes the supreme power of the people, not an inalienable divine right of the state," Mr Balasingham said.
"What actually disturbs Mr Kadirgamar as well as President Kumaratunga is the endorsement in the truce agreement of the fact that there are territories under the control of the LTTE. This is the concrete reality of the situation in the northeast. A comprehensive cease-fire document and monitoring mechanisms could not be worked out until the actuality of the ground situation is acknowledged. There are two fighting formations facing each other in several locations in Tamil areas. The monitors must map out the ground positions or rather draw lines of demarcation between the forces to setout the ground rules in order to supervise the violations. To categorise such basic functions in cease-fire monitoring by a renowned international monitor as an infringement of Sri Lanka's sovereignty is unwarranted and utterly absurd," Mr Balasingham said.
"The positive element in the cease-fire agreement is that it deals substantially with the central issue of de-escalation by gradually and systematically easing the conditions of oppression imposed by the former government and to bring about normalisation of civilian life in the northeast. Having misread this objective, President Kumaratunga criticises the truce pact for having left out substantive political issues and dates and limited time frames for talks," Mr Balasingham said.
"I should say the President is re-invoking her old demands that were unacceptable to us which led to the collapse of 1994-95 peace talks. The current cease-fire agreement deals with humanitarian and confidence-building measures aimed at bringing relief to the war affected Tamil civilian masses and to establish a positive atmosphere in which peace talks could be resumed. Both the parties have conveyed to the Norwegian facilitators that they agree in principle to hold political negotiations in the near future when congenial conditions of normalcy are restored in the Northeast," Mr Balasingham further said.