Air strikes will "irreparably damage" peace process -LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 July 2001, 08:29 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka today, warned the Government of Sri Lanka that peace initiatives would be irreparably damaged if it continued with its intense aerial and artillery bombardment against the LTTE positions in Jaffna. Describing the air strikes as 'provocative aggression and calculated escalation', the LTTE accused the Kumaratunga regime of seeking desperate measures to mobilise the support of Sinhala nationalist forces with the purpose of overcoming the crisis brought by the no-confidence motion.

Following is the full text of the press release:

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka today, warned the Government of Sri Lanka that peace initiatives would be irreparably damaged if it continued with its intense aerial and artillery bombardment against the LTTE positions in Jaffna. Describing the air strikes as 'provocative aggression and calculated escalation', the LTTE accused the Kumaratunga regime of seeking desperate measures to mobilise the support of Sinhala nationalist forces with the purpose of overcoming the crisis brought by the no-confidence motion.

'The Sri Lanka government has made a false claim that the air and artillery assaults are a necessary escalation to pre-empt a planned offensive by the LTTE forces to recapture Jaffna. We can say categorically that there is 'no imminent offensive plan' by the LTTE as fantasised by the Government. The so-called intelligence reports to this effect is a sham. The Kumaratunga Government, facing a no-confidence motion by its political opposition has resorted to military adventurism and false alarmist reports as a desperate measure to mobilise Sinhala chauvinistic sentiments in its support to over-come the current crisis. Faced with resentment and disenchantment from the southern populace, which is bearing the heavy burden of the Government's ill-conceived war effort, the Kumaratunga regime is resorting to false propaganda to whip-up Sinhala patriotism against the national minorities to retain power. This is a dangerous trend. It reflects the utter bankruptcy of constructive policies of this Government which has miserably failed to solve any problems faced by the country', the LTTE's statement declared.

'It should be noted that the LTTE with the objective of promoting the Norwegian peace initiative has made every effort to de-escalate the conflict including the offer of a prolonged cease-fire and suspension of violent attacks in the South. Even now the LTTE is maintaining an undeclared peace hoping that the international community would pressurise Sri Lanka to seek the path of peace and ethnic reconciliation. Yet to our disappointment Sri Lanka has adopted policies and strategies that stalemated the peace initiatives. The imprudent intervention in the Norwegian facilitatory process by demanding the downgrading of the accredited peace envoy for his objective neutrality was a serious setback to peace. The current provocative aerial attacks on the LTTE forces, will permanently damage the peace process' the LTTE's statement said.

'In conclusion, the LTTE statement warns that the 'Sri Lanka government should bear total responsibility for the adverse consequences that might arise from its misplaced strategy of escalating the conditions of war in the Tamil homeland'.

 

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