LTTE protest to Sri Lanka Government over amendment issue

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 March 2006, 11:18 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTE) has registered its strong protest, expressing deep displeasure to Sri Lankan President Rajapakse administration over the stand taken by members of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) negotiating team claiming that the Ceasefire Agreement has been amended. Mr. Anton Balasingham, LTTE’s chief negotiator and political ideologue, told the TamilNet that a message expressing serious concern and disapproval was conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka through the Norwegian facilitators Wednesday.

Mr. Anton Balasingham, LTTE's Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist
"These attempts to distort and misinterpret the joint statement issued by the parties after the Geneva talks will damage mutual trust and seriously undermine the peace process", Mr. Balasingham said.

"We regret to note that Mr H.L. De Silva, senior lawyer and a delegate of the government’s negotiating team, issued a statement to the ‘Daily Mirror’ today reiterating his fabulous theory that the Ceasefire Agreement was amended. His new set of arguments are ludicrous and feeble and do not reinforce the logic of his contention. Mr Silva’s central theme is that the issues discussed and undertakings given by the parties in the joint statement are not specifically mentioned in the original document and therefore constitute an amendment of the earlier Agreement."

"This argument is untenable and seriously flawed since the undertakings given by the parties reflect and correspond to the cardinal issues of the CFA and fall within its conceptual framework. Even if the issues discussed transcend the confines of the text of the original truce, they cannot be construed as amendments. For example, there were six joint statements issued after six sessions of talks between Ranil Wickremasinghe’s government and the LTTE, which recorded several decisions taken and undertakings given by the parties, most of which were not specifically mentioned in the CFA, but are conceptually related issues of the truce. That doesn’t mean all the issues discussed and undertakings given by the parties amounted to amendments", Mr Balasingham explained.

"Amending the clauses of the CFA is a very serious matter, which needs the approval of the parties in conflict and the facilitating government, and endorsement by the signatures of the President of Sri Lanka, the leader of the LTTE and the Norwegian Foreign Minister. I am surprised that Mr H.L. De Silva has taken this international Agreement superficially, ignoring or failing to understand its implications. His thesis is illogical and incoherent, based on pure fantasy. This intervention by Mr Silva, we can only conclude, is politically motivated, aimed at placating the Sinhala hardliners, but certainly not a constructive engagement to promote peace", Balasingham pointed out.

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