Re-opening of landroutes, non-negotiable humanitarian priority - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 December 2006, 10:15 GMT]
Liberation Tigers Political Head, S. P. Thamilchelvan, Friday told media after meeting Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer in Kilinochchi, that the re-opening of A9 and A15 landroutes constituted basic humanitarian priorities for the survival of the civilian population. "It is critical that the International Community addresses the issue of Colombo's cooperation in re-opening of A9 and A15 landroutes ensuring the Tamil people their top-most basic humanitarian need," Mr. Thamilchelvan said. Tamil people are at the verge of losing hopes in Norwegian facilitators, the SLMM and the International Community for failing to condemn Colombo for refusing to re-open the landroutes, he said.

"Colombo has violated all the articles of the Ceasefire Agreement," LTTE Poliitcal Head said.

"Finally, it has now imposed regulations that violate the spirit of the Ceasefire Agreement itself."

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the LTTE Political Wing said that the closed A9 and A15 highways must be opened unconditionally on a purely humanitarian basis since these are only land routes to Jaffna and Vaharai respectively where large civilians population remain trapped without the very basic essentials for living.

The press release also said that the Norwegian faciilitators, the SLMM, and the International Community that has backed the CFA have failed to condemn and halt the vast majority of the "blatant CFA violations by the GoSL military."

Full text of the Press Release issued by the LTTE follows:

08 December 2006
Political Wing,
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

Press Release

LTTE appeals for unconditional opening of A9 and A15 highways

The Norwegian Special Envoy, Jan Hansen Bauer, held discussions with the LTTE Political Head, S P Tamilselvan, today, at the LTTE Political Head Quarters in Kilinochchin. At this meeting Tamilselvan raised several urgent issues with the Norwegian facilitators. Most importantly he appealed for the unconditional opening of the A9 access to Jaffna and the A15 access to Vaharai on a purely humanitarian basis. This press release briefly restates the issues raised by Tamilselvan at the meeting. The attached details were also raised at the meeting and it supports the statements in this press release.

The CFA is made up of three major articles, modalities of a ceasefire, measures to restore normalcy and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). As the detailed analysis attached demonstrates, the GoSL have contravened each of these articles on innumerable occasions.

The GoSL has carried out innumerable offensives, occupations, and firing into civilian settlements in contravention of the first CFA article on modalities of ceasefire. It continues to support paramilitary groups in spite of several international voices raising their concern. It has prevented the freedom of movement of unarmed LTTE members as agreed under the first article. The GoSL violations of the second article of the CFA, about normalcy, go completely against the spirit of the CFA. It continues to occupy places of worship and schools. It abducts and kills civilians and the number killed has exceeded one thousand. It has closed the A9 and the A15 highways and has blocked basic items being taken to these areas of large civilian population resulting in immense human tragedy. It persists with severe fishing restriction pushing the fishing families to starvation. The final straw that appears to have broken the back of the CFA is the introduction of new regulations under Public Security Ordinance, which is the old PTA under new cloak.

The GoSL has struck at the very basis of the CFA by blocking access to our area to the Norwegian facilitators and also undermined their position as the facilitators by leveling baseless accusations against them.

The third article of the CFA on the SLMM safety and freedom of movement has also been seriously compromised and violated by the GoSL. On two occasions the Head of Mission was directly fired at even though the GoSL was informed of the SLMM presence in the area. The GoSL has also blocked access to SLMM on several occasions.

The Norwegian facilitators, the SLMM and the international community that has been backing the CFA have failed to condemn and halt the vast majority of the blatant CFA violations by the GoSL military. While the CFA was being destroyed systematically by the GoSL, the Norwegian facilitators, the SLMM and the international community remained silent for most part. This failure by the Norwegian facilitators, the SLMM and the international community, encouraging the Rajapakse government on its genocidal program and a military solution will steadily push the island into monumental irrecoverable state of destruction.

If permanent peace is the desired outcome, the CFA signed by both parties and backed by the Norwegians, and the international community must be implemented 100%. The GoSL must remove all hurdles placed on the SLMM preventing its impartial functioning to monitor the implementation of the CFA. All extrajudicial killing of our people must be brought to an end and offensives and military moves of occupation must be stopped. The closed A9 and A15 highways must be opened unconditionally on a purely humanitarian basis since these are only land routes to Jaffna and Vaharai respectively where large civilians population remain trapped without the very basic essentials for living. This will build the confidence of our people and bring some semblance of normalcy.

The Norwegian facilitators and the international community must understand that this is the only path that will halt the worsening situation and stop the GoSL embarking on a military solution.

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