2ND LEAD (Adds details)

LTTE to reconsider CFA if EU bans the movement

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 May 2006, 10:18 GMT]
Liberation Tigers will be forced to reconsider the relevance of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) to the peace process, and LTTE's committment and adherence to the CFA, if the European Union carries out its threat of proscribing the LTTE, S.P. Thamilchelvan, Head of LTTE's Political Wing, told TamilNet after meeting Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer in Kilinochchi on Saturday.

Talking to the press after a crucial meeting with the Norwegian Special Envoy, Mr. Thamilchelvan said international support for the facilitation of the peace process would be one of the deciding factors for the Tigers’ continued tolerance of the provocations of the Sri Lankan forces and its paramilitaries.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has already been engaged in the dangerous experiment of weakening the CFA. It has backtracked on many issues. A proscription of the LTTE at this crucial juncture would only benefit the GoSL agenda against the CFA, Thamilchelvan said.

LTTE delegation in meeting with the Norwegian Special Envoy
LTTE Political Head Thamilchelvan was accompanied by Tamil Eelam Police Chief B. Nadesan and the Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan

The LTTE also reiterated that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) should be on board the LTTE vessels during transportation of LTTE cadres.

Article 3.3 of the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) from 18 March 2002 grants such access, and the LTTE would insist on the procedures agreed on and practised earlier, LTTE Political Head S. P. Thamilchelvan told reporters after the meeting.

The Norwegian Special Envoy has invited the LTTE to discuss the future engagement of Nordic countries, and the LTTE agreed to review the request, and provide a response within the next few days, the LTTE Political Head further told media.

Thamilchelvan also said that visiting clergy from the South carried a message indicating the desire of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to engage directly in discussions with Kilinochchi. "LTTE strongly protested against the attempt, and viewed this as another subterfuge in sidelining Norway and adding new obstacles to the peace process," Thamilchelvan said.

Mahinda Rajapakse had sent a message asking the LTTE to communicate directly with the presidential secretary.

Talking to TamilNet, Thamilchelvan added: "We look forward to the European Nations taking an active, unbiased and forceful role in supporting the activities of the facilitator in successfully contributing to the peace process.

"We also pointed out to Norway that LTTE and the Tamil people have always encourged Norwary in its peace keeping role and desisted criticizing Norway even in issues that troubled us. Our approach should not be taken as a sign of weakness. Besides, we told the Norwegians that they have solemn responsibity to convey the expectations and the goodwill of the Tamil people to the International community," Thamilchelvan said.

"Our military strength created opportunities for us to constructively engage politically with the outside world. Norway served as a trustworthy partner in strengthening this interaction. However, Colombo has been steadily working towards severing these links. For peace process to take forward steps, Norway has to assert itself to discourage the international community from taking decisions that are detrimental to peace and harmful to Tamil people," Thamilchelvan said.

The Royal Norwegian Government undertook the responsibility to co-ordinate, facilitate and lead the establishment of the SLMM. The members of the Mission are recruited from among citizens of the Nordic countries.

A ban on the Liberation Tigers' activities in EU member states would affect Sweden, Denmark and Finland in the Nordic countries.

The members of Nordic countries who are part of the SLMM are scheduled to meet early June to discuss the impact of the EU ban and their engagement in the SLMM.

External Links:
SLMM: Status Of Mission Agreement (SOMA)


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