LTTE firm on venue, Co-chairs "committed and impartial"
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 December 2005, 10:38 GMT]
"The Tamil leadership is firm and will oppose Colombo's effort on imposing geographical limitations and preconditions on the venue of talks on the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and thereby alienating the Liberation Tigers from European countries," the LTTE Political Head Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan told media after a two-hour-long meeting with the Co-Chairs' representatives held in Kilinochchi Saturday. Head of the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka, Ambassador Julian Wilson, speaking to the media, reiterated the Co-Chairs statement on Monday and urged the parties to "start talks on Ceasefire Agreement's Implementation immediately," adding that Co-Chairs were "committed" and "impartial."
Head of the EU Delegation said they had a good discussion with the LTTE, passed firm messages, and emphasized that the Co-Chairs remained committed and impartial to helping Sri Lanka achieve the goal of reinvigoration of the peace process.
The LTTE Political Head, welcoming the Co-Chairs' initiative to visit Kilinochchi and to listen to the Tamils' concerns told the media that he explained that Tamil population has reached its limit of patience after the brutal rape and murder of the twenty-years-old Tharsini Ilayathamby in Punguduthivu, and attacks on unarmed students and staff of Jaffna campus.
Mr. Thamilchelvan said that rape by the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) troopers in Punguduthivu and the attempted cover up of the incident by dumping her body in an abandoned well have raised the spectre of past similar crimes against women, including Sarathambal, Krishanthi and many more young Tamil women who were raped and murdered, and the Chemmani graves where many mass graves of disppeared Tamil youths were found.
During the period of Ceasefire and when the world is concerned with enforcing the rights of women and children, Sri Lanka Government cannot create the culture of impunity where the security forces can get away with rape, murder of women and attacks on academics including the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna. Tamils' reaction to such crimes will inevitably turn violent, Thamilchelvan said he told the EU delegation.
The hostile acts by the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Navy must cease and Colombo should take meaningful steps to contain the situation by entering into the talks on the implementaion of Cease Fire Agreement without delay and without politicizing the issue of venue, LTTE political head told the media.