LTTE responds to GoSL proposals, calls for immediate action

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 July 2005, 06:58 GMT]
In a letter addressed to Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) on Friday, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Political Head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eealm (LTTE), rejected the conditions stipulated by Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) restricting the number of journeys and the number of persons. The letter said that the GoSL has the responsibility to ensure the safety of LTTE's unarmed members in military controlled areas and urged that the proposals sent to GoSL on 30 June 2005 need to be accepted in full in order to ensure safe travel of their cadres. It further said that the time frame set by the LTTE was consequent to the long delay incurred.

The letter added that the LTTE will be forced to resort to its own means and modes of transport if suitable action is not taken to effectively implement its proposals without further delay. If the Tigers are forced to resort to their own means and modes of transport, the military should not interfere with LTTE's own travel and security arrangements. "If on the other hand, military attempts to prevent or hinder such travel, we would be compelled to react suitably", the letter addressed to SLMM's Head stated.

Extracts form the letter follows:

"We wish to present our position relating to the contents of the letter from the Secretary General of the Government Peace Secretariat and reiterate our clear stand on the secure travel arrangements for our members.

"The Secretary General has mentioned in his letter that as a democratically elected government, GOSL does not determine its actions on the basis of ultimatums. Ultimatum and definite time frames within which to accomplish certain requirements to maintain an agreement are two different matters and we wish to remind here that the Cease Fire Agreement itself has been premised on definite time frames. To amplify it, the CFA contains within it time frames stipulating moving away of the military from occupied positions in places of worship, schools and densely populated habitats and public buildings paving a way for restoration of normalcy. It is relevant to remind the Secretary General that it is on the acknowledgement of the ground reality of two power positions and territories being administered under their respective control, that the CFA has been formulated.

"In terms of the CFA, the government of Sri Lanka has the responsibility to ensure the safety of our unarmed members engaged in political activities in military controlled areas. Acting in bad faith, rejecting this reality will only lead to the disruption of the cease -fire environment. Safe and secure travel of our members was made feasible during the last three and a half years with the facilitation of the Norwegian Embassy and the SLMM and the mutual understanding between the parties. Creating controversies in such a smooth transport arrangement with necessary escort, we are afraid, is shaking the root of the CFA. These actions give room for the suspicion that GOSL and its military and intelligence wings are engaged in activities that will put into grave risk the peace environment and thrust a war on the Tamil Nation.

"Our leadership dismissed Karuna from the organisation on charges of misconduct and this was a routine disciplinary action. A person, who has been dismissed by our leadership, has been provided with military security and it is no secret that the military is operating a group of saboteurs under the name of Karuna. This so-called Karuna group is not operative in any part of the Tamil homeland, nor does it have administrative control over any part of Tamil territory. It is the military that provides protection to him and the military intelligence wing is making use of Karuna and there are no two opinions about it.

"This so-called Karuna group is the making of the military intelligence wing, created with the hideous intention of sabotaging the peace environment that is holding for the last three and a half years. We have pointed out this to you at several instances with substantive evidence. We are ready to provide you with additional information and corroborative evidence, if it becomes necessary.

"The CFA clearly envisages in clause 1.8 that these paramilitary groups be disarmed and distanced from the Tamil homeland. This clause was necessitated after careful consideration by the facilitators and the parties due to the fear that they may pose a serious threat to the CFA and the peace environment. This notwithstanding, it is ironical to find that the government‚s military has created this grave situation threatening the security of our members and we wish to strongly lodge our protest in this context. We consider the malicious intent and actions of the military and the intelligence wing as a subtle move to disrupt even the semblance of peace environment built during the last three and a half years.

"It is significant to note that the land mine attack of 26 July 2005, the assassinations of Batticaloa-Amparai Political Head Kowshalyan, Batticaloa Town Political Head Senadhi and the attack on our members on 10 July 2005 in Trincomalee had all taken place in government military controlled areas. Modus operandi, locations and the circumstantial evidence in all these incidents doubtlessly indicate that the government military and its intelligence wing are the culprits.

"The Secretary General had sought refuge in incidents that took place during the height of war, the pre-cease-fire period. Citing reference to past incidents that took place during a period in which both the parties were engaged in a war and debating the pros and cons, is definitely not congenial to peace and in a way, this runs contrary and adverse to the maintenance of the CFA. If that is to be the criteria, then we cannot help pointing out the armed violence let loose on the Tamil people, human rights violations, disappearances and mass massacres that were perpetrated by the military during the height of war. It is only because of our commitment to the CFA and adherence to the conditions therein, that the military and its intelligence wing are able to carry out these attacks on our unarmed members while they are engaged in political work.

"The government of Sri Lanka has the responsibility to ensure safety of our members engaged in political work in areas controlled by the military as envisaged in the CFA. The SLMM has an obligation to ensure that this goal is achieved. We too have the responsibility to ensure safety of GOSL officials and representatives who visit our territory and this is being carried out with meticulous precision.

"Our members have the need to visit their relatives and friends in military controlled areas and this has been vouchsafed in the CFA. There is also the necessity for our members to participate in discussions and seminars that are held in Kilinochchi. It is relevant to mention here that our members undertook such travel even during the pre-CFA days, making use of our own means of travel with security. Our travel requirements being portrayed by GOSL as preparations for war, is a mischievous myth -making and therefore very much regrettable.

"It is only to fulfil urgent and important missions that we put forward the proposals for travel arrangement in our letter sent on 30 June 2005. These proposals need to be accepted in full in order to ensure safe travel of our members. The time frame set therein was consequent to the long delay incurred during that period of time and the urgency we had in arranging the travel. We totally reject the conditions stipulated by GOSL restricting the number of journeys and the number of persons. We see this as an attempt by GOSL to prevent the travel of our members by subtle means.

"We reiterate therefore that our travel proposals of 30 Jun e 2005, formulated after careful and lengthy discussions, be taken in the right perspective and given effect without any further delay. Please be advised that we will be forced to resort to our means and modes of transport if suitable action is not taken to effectively implement our proposals without further delay. If this becomes a necessity, the military should not interfere with our travel and security arrangements. If on the other hand, military attempts to prevent or hinder such travel, we would be compelled to react suitably. This, we fear, would push the CFA into a grave and complex situation."


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