Geneva peace talks in grave danger – Balasingham

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 March 2006, 11:16 GMT]
"The Geneva peace talks will face grave danger if the Sri Lanka government refuses to disarm Tamil paramilitary organisations and continues allowing them to launch offensive military operations against our military positions in Batticaloa district," warned Mr Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and political strategist of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Commenting on the current situation Mr Balasingham told TamilNet that the LTTE leadership would be compelled to review its decision to participate in the next round of talks, to be held in Geneva on 19 April, if Colombo fails to fulfil the pledges agreed in the joint statement issued after the first session of talks in Geneva.

Mr. Anton Balasingham, LTTE's Chief Negotiator and Political Strategist
The LTTE’s political ideologue, on Monday, accused the Sri Lankan Government’s security forces of actively participating with armed Tamil paramilitaries in the recent attacks on LTTE’s sentry posts in Vavunativu and Vaharai in the Batticoloa district.

"These offensive military operations have taken place after the Geneva peace talks, where the government had pledged to uphold the obligations of the Ceasefire Agreement in disarming the Tamil paramilitaries and putting an end to their violent activities. The involvement of the armed forces in the operations of Tamil paramilitaries constitutes a serious breach of the spirit of the Geneva talks, and also must be considered as an act of bad faith on the part of the government", Mr Balasingham said.

"The LTTE leadership is watching the current developments after the Geneva talks with serious concern and dismay. So far the government has failed to take any action to contain the violence of the Tamil paramilitaries operating in the Tamil areas, particularly in the eastern province. The Rajapakse administration is turning a blind eye when Tamil paramilitaries – the Karuna group – launch attacks on our sentry posts with the active involvement of the Sri Lankan armed forces. The LTTE leadership is also losing faith in the current peace efforts when Sri Lankan political leaders and senior personnel of the security establishment issue contradictory and hostile statements against the letter and spirit of the Geneva talks," the LTTE’s theoretician explained.

Responding to TamilNet’s query on IGP Chandra Fernando’s statement to the ‘Daily Mirror', Mr Balasingham denied, categorically, that he characterised the Tamil Tigers as a "terrorist out-fit" as claimed by the Police chief.

"At the Geneva talks I explained the historical evolution of the LTTE from an underground guerrilla organisation to a national liberation movement. In my exposition of the armed revolutionary struggle of the LTTE for self-determination, I admitted the fact that in the early stages of the armed resistance movement of the Tamils, the state’s security forces, Tamil intelligence officers, and agents of the state were killed in the civil war. The IGP, with his extremely limited understanding of the history of the Tamil liberation struggle, has misconceived the Tamil armed resistance movement as a phenomenon of terrorism," Mr Balasingham observed.


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