LTTE declares month-long ceasefire

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 10:40 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued Wednesday from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, announced the declaration of a month long “unilateral cessation of hostilities” as a goodwill measure during the festive season “to facilitate and promote initiatives towards a peace process.” The LTTE’s observation of cease-fire begins at midnight on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2001, the organisation said in a press release. The LTTE said if the Sri Lankan government "reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and takes immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions," it will favourably consider extending the period of cease-fire.

The full text of the press release follows:

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued today from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, announced the declaration of a month long unilateral cessation of hostilities as a goodwill measure during the festive season to facilitate and promote initiatives towards a peace process. The LTTE’s observation of cease-fire begins at midnight on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2001.

“Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader and military commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, has issued orders to all units and combat formations of the Tamil liberation army to cease all hostile military actions against the Sri Lankan armed forced from midnight 24 December 2001 till midnight 24 January 2002,” the LTTE’s statement declared.

“Encouraged by the collective mandate for peace and ethnic harmony given by the Sinhala and Tamil masses at the general election, the LTTE leadership has decided to declare, unilaterally, a month long cessation of armed hostilities during the festive season of Christmas, New Year and ‘Thai Pongal’ (Hindu Harvest Festival) as a gesture of goodwill to facilitate the promotion of peace initiatives. We fervently hope that the new government of Sri Lanka will reciprocate positively to our goodwill gesture and instruct its armed forces to observe peace during this period. Our decision to cease armed hostilities and observe peace during the festive season should be viewed as a genuine expression of goodwill, demonstrating our sincere desire for peace and negotiated political settlement. We are confident that the new government will utilise this space of peace to implement goodwill measures to create congenial conditions of normalcy in the Tamil homeland by withdrawing the economic embargo and other restrictions and prohibitions imposed on our people,” the statement said.

“If the Sri Lanka government reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and takes immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions, the LTTE will favourably consider extending the period of cease-fire to create cordial conditions for a stable peace and de-escalation,” the statement further said.

 

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