TULF commends Norway, International Community

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 November 2002, 19:21 GMT]
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), while commending Norway and International Community for their support to the peace process, made an appeal to Tamils from making statements that will have adverse impact on the peace process. People who have rarely stood up for the human rights or democratic rights of the Tamil people cannot make any honest contribution to the Tamil question, said the Secretary General of the TULF Mr.R.Sampanthan in a press release at the conclusion of the central committee meeting held Sunday in Colombo.

The full text of the press release is given below: -

"The central committee of the TULF met on 17th November, 2002 and comprehensively reviewed the peace process and the negotiations being conducted between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with the facilitation of the Norwegian government.

"The TULF desires to extend its sincere thanks to the Norwegian government for the exemplary role they are playing with commendable neutrality in taking the peace process forward. The TULF wishes to emphasize that it is the role of the Norwegian government that has brought the parties to the negotiating table, helped the parties to build confidence in each other, and thereby demonstrate to the whole country and the world, that the negotiations between the parties are being conducted with a seriousness of purpose, and with a sincere commitment to achieve a just and honourable peace.

"It is noteworthy that it is the recognition of the positive movement of the peace process by the international community, that has resulted in the international community's spontaneous willingness to attend the Aid Conference at Oslo this month, to consider assistance for the reconstruction of the enormous devastation in the northeast and the resettlement and rehabilitation in the northeast of several hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Tamil and other refugees.

"It is also worthy of special mention that the ceasefire between the Armed forces of the government and the LTTE has endured for almost nine months, a longer period than ever before. This is again attributable to the confidence building measures taken by both sides, and the constructive spirit with which both sides have participated in the peace process; each side realizing that the recognition and respect accorded by the parties to each other, required them to jointly endeavor to achieve an honourable peace. The seriousness of intent of both parties to pursue negotiations is amply demonstrated by the fact that dates have already been fixed for several rounds of further talks. Such a positive attitude and approach was never reflected in previous negotiations.

"The TULF also expresses its sincere thanks to the international ceasefire monitors constituting the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission who have made an immense contribution in helping the parties to repose trust in each other, and thereby facilitated co-operation with each other, in order to sustain the ceasefire.

"Such success is not easy to achieve, given the great degree of distrust that has prevailed between the parties, after almost two decades of a cruel war, which had resulted in the death of over one hundred thousand people; non combatant civilians, very substantially Tamils and the Armed Forces of both sides, and grievous injury to several tens of thousands of others.

"The TULF desires to point out that nitpicking and pettifogging cannot contribute to constructive negotiations or bring about a just and honourable peace.

"The Tamil people in unison are yearning for a just and honourable peace. The TULF makes a fervent appeal to Tamil personalities who inclined to make biased statement that would have a detrimental impact on the peace process, to refrain from doing so. It is the Tamil people who would suffer the most if war were to break out. Such biased statements also tend to mislead the Sinhala people, the vast majority of whom are fully supportive of the peace process. Such personalities have never stood up for the human or democratic rights of the Tamil people, and this alone, should make them realize that they cannot with any sense of honest make a just intervention on the Tamil question.

"The TULF would appeal to every one, in particular the Peoples Alliance and its leader Her Excellency the President who initiated the peace process, to lend their active and meaningful support to the peace process.

"The TULF strongly urges that the peace process be continued with the same sense of serious commitment that pervaded the negotiations thus far, and pledges to fully support the process."


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