Co-chairs must act to stop war- Gajendrakumar

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 October 2006, 18:30 GMT]
"Co-chairs and the International community should go beyond making statements by taking concrete steps to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to stop waging an aggressive war and to compel the GoSL to engage in meaningful talks with the Liberation Tigers," said Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, at a press meet held Thursday morning in Colombo Renuka Hotel, TNA sources in Colombo said.

Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam
"The Co-chair countries issued a statement on September 12 calling both parties to cease hostilities and return to talks. The LTTE responded positively to this request but the Sri Lanka government is adamant in taking forward its military agenda, ignoring the Co-chair call.

"It is in this backdrop that the TNA issued an urgent press release a few days ago warning of the government build up for a major military offensive in the north and called upon the International Community to restrain the Sri Lanka government. Despite this, the government yesterday (Wednesday) undertook a major military offensive that the LTTE successfully repelled," added Gajendrakumar.

"Due to the intransigence of the Sri Lanka government the possibility of negotiations recommencing has greatly diminished. It is our belief that the government is planning to take more military actions in the future. We reiterate that such actions will lead to full-scale war.

"Therefore, the Co-chairs and the International community should go beyond making statements by taking concrete steps to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to stop waging an aggressive war and to compel the GoSL to engage in meaningful talks with the Liberation Tigers."

"The International Community's and particularly the Co-chairs credibility is very much at stake," said the TNA parliamentarian.

TNA Jaffna district MPs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Suresh Premachandran, N. Raviraj, S. Gajendran, S. Sivanesan, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, . Sivajilingam, Trincomalee district MP Thurairatnasingam and Amparai district MP Chandrakanthan participated in the press meet.

Suresh Premachandran speaking at the press briefing said, "The International Community while providing military assistance and advice to Sri Lanka government is exerting pressure on it to hold peace talks. This is meaningless. Military assistance should stop and military actions should cease if peace talks are to be held.

"It doesn't help to sell arms to Sri Lanka government and calling the Liberation Tigers to talk. How could one party show interest in talks while its opponent builds up its military hardware? Therefore India and other countries should stop providing Sri Lanka with arms. They should instead exert true pressure on it opt for talks instead of war," said Premachandran.

"The Co-chair countries envoys requested the President of Sri Lanka to give up military offensives and to start talks when they met him Monday and the President had agreed. But within three days of this meeting the Sri Lanka army launched major offensives in Kilali and Nagarkovil. Military offensives in the east in Vaharai in Batticaloa during the past week too show the government's intent, added the MP.


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