Feature Article

CFA, buried

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 December 2006, 15:23 GMT]
Head of Sri Lanka's Peace Secretariat, Palitha Kohona, has told the visiting Norwegian Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, that the Sri Lankan government was reviewing a proposal of proscribing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and had asked the Peace Envoy not to undertake his scheduled mission to Kilinochchi until a Government decision on Wednesday, according to media reports in Colombo. Analysts view the move as a step to effectively nullify the already defunct Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) that specifically prohibits all military offensives including aerial bombardment, offensive naval operations, assassinations, suicide missions and the activities by deep penetration units.

The CFA, as it entered the fifth year, during the early stages of Mahinda Rajapakse Presidency, was fundamentally breached when paramilitaries were engaged by the Sri Lanka military in a proxy war against the LTTE. Adherence to CFA deteriorated from then as the violence escalated into direct hostilities between the parties of the CFA, severely affecting the humanitarian situation in the Northeast.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continued to intensify the covert war by using the paramilitaries despite a Government pledge to disarm them at the Geneva I Talks in February 2006. In the aftermath of talks, Sri Lanka refused to curtail the activities of the paramilitaries, but instead actively assisted them as recently accused by UN's envoy, Allan Rock.

On 25 April, Sri Lanka Army commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was severely wounded in a bomb attack near the military headquarters in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), launched aerial bombardment and intensified the air strikes on Trincomalee and subsequently imposed an economic blockade, aggravating the humanitarian situation in the district, and propelling the escalation of violence in Trincomalee.

The Talks in Geneva (Geneva Talks II), scheduled to take place April 2006, did not materialise as efforts by the Norwegian facilitators to bring the parties together failed.

The European Union, despite objections from the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Maj. Gen. Ulf Henricsson, proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation on 19 May, a move later viewed as having had a negative impact on the peace process.

Parties clashed in direct battles in Trincomalee and Jaffna in July and August 2006.

Ruthless counter-insurgency campaign targetting Tamil civil society leaders, and terror campaign on civilians inside Sri Lanka Army occupied Jaffna and elsewhere in the island continue, resulting in forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

Mounting pressure by the International Community, amid a military stalemate within a widening war, brought the two parties to Switzerland in October for Geneva II Talks. But the parties failed to agree on de-escalating measures or improve the detoriating humanitarian situation.

LTTE leader, Velupillai Pirapaharan, in his annual policy address on November 27, accused Colombo for the failure of the implementation of the CFA, charged the Sinhala leaders for choosing the path of war, imposing a two pronged war, military and economic, on the Tamil people.

All the clauses of CFA's Article 1 that contains 2 clauses under the chapter Military operations, 5 clauses under the chapter Separation of Forces, and 5 clauses under Freedom of movement, are violated.

Almost all 13 clauses of the CFA in Article 2, Measures to restore normalcy, are violated.

Colombo by expressing its intention to reactivate the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), has effectively declared that it will only adhere to the two remaining articles of the CFA, Article 3 on The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, and Article 4 that specifies the termination of CFA.

Related Articles:
03.12.06   Prevention of Terrrorism Act [PTA]
14.01.04   Cease Fire Agreement (CFA)


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