Parliament to debate TNA motion on cease-fire agreement
[TamilNet, Monday, 03 June 2002, 22:21 GMT]
The adjournment motion submitted to the Speaker by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is scheduled to be taken up for a three-hour debate in the parliament Tuesday morning. The motion urges the United National Front government to take immediate steps to fully implement the confidence building measures embodied in the cease-fire agrement signed by the government and the Liberation Tigers in order to ensure that the objective of the agreement of finding a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is fulfilled.
The leaders of all political parties represented in the parliament have agreed to hold a special debate on the adjournment motion submitted by the TNA parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan. Hence the special debate is scheduled to begin Tuesday at 10.30. It will conclude at 1.30 p.m., parliamentary sources said.
The adjournment motion of the TNA is given below:
"Whereas the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have entered into an agreement on a ceasefire on 22nd February, 2002, and whereas the said agreement that the overall objective of the parties to the Agreement is to find a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
"And whereas the said Agreement further reiterates that the parties to the Agreement recognize the importance of bringing an end to the hostilities and improving the living condition for all inhabitants affected by the conflict. And that, bringing an end to the hostilities is also seen by the parties as a means of establishing a positive atmosphere in which further steps towards negotiations on a lasting solution can be taken.
"And whereas the parties have also agreed to refrain free conduct that could undermine the good intentions or violate the spirit of the Agreement and implement confidence building measures as indicated in the several articles set out in the Agreement.
"And whereas the parties have agreed to undertake inter-alia the following confidence building measures with the aim of restoring normalcy for all inhabitants in Sri Lanka.
"1. Places of worships (temples, mosques, and other holy sites etc.) currently held by the forces of either of the parties shall be vacated by D day and 30- to wit 23rd March, 2002 and made accessible to the public, places of worship which are situated in " high security zones" shall be vacated by all armed personnel and maintained in good order by civilian workers even when they are not made accessible to the public (clause 2.2 of Agreement)
"2.Beginning on the date on which this Agreement enters into force to wit 23rd February, 2002 school buildings occupied by either party shall be vacated and returned to their intended use. This activity shall be completed by D-day and 160 at the latest- (clause 2.3 of Agreement). " 3. The parties shall review the security measures and the set up of checkpoints, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, in order to introduce system, that will prevent harassment of the civilian population. Such system shall be in place from D day+ 60- to wit 23rd April 2002 (clause 2.3 of the Agreement).
"4.The parties shall in accordance with international law abstain from hostile acts against the civilian population including acts such as torture, intimidation and harassment (clause 2.1 of the Agreement).
"5. A gradual easing of the fishing restrictions shall take place starting from D day. As of D day+ 90 to wit 23rd May 2002 all restrictions on day and night fishing shall be removed subject to the exceptions set forth in the Agreement. (Clause 2.11 of the Agreement)
"6. Parties agree that search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act shall not take place. Arrests shall be conducted under due process of law in accordance with the criminal procedure code (clause 2.12 of the Agreement).
"And whereas the delay in compliance and or the non-compliance with the above terms of the Agreement by the Government of Sri Lanka and its forces has impeded the full implementation of the said confidence building measures, aimed at restoring normalcy and improving the living conditions for all inhabitants.
"And whereas in consequence thereof the living conditions of Tamil inhabitants of the North - East have not reached a state of normalcy envisaged by the Agreement.
"It is therefore urges that the expeditious steps should be taken to ensure that the said confidence building measures are fully implemented in accordance with the terms of the Agreement of finding a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is fulfilled."