say Swaranam back in the east
call for the abrogationh
of the CFA as President
Mahinda Rajapakse looms large
over the horizon
years ago its was quite different. The
country was basking in the peace glow. The
then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
had sent the truce agreement through the
Muhamalai crossover point through
Norwegian Ambassador Jon Wesborg and LTTE
Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan had duly
confidant turned crosser-over Milinda Moragoda addressed a group of
journalists at a hotel in Wadduwa, on
February 23, 2002 and he was all praise of
the new agreement. Five years later, he
nor his colleague at the negotiating
G. L. Peiris hardly made a
react to statement
truce may be five years old, but
the old fears have returned, fears of war and suffering.
Tigers were increasingly talking as if
they were a state, nothing less. They had
begun the trend
two weeks ago when they reacted to
Allan Rock's statement to the Working
Committee of the UN Security Council.
kept the tone last week as well -
CFA was formulated with the full
support of the international community,
transcended the parameters of Sri Lanka's
majoritarian constitution created by the
Sinhala for the Sinhala people which had
effectively marginalised the other
communities in the island."
recognised Tamil Eelam's de facto
existence, with its unique
characteristics: a distinct population; a
government comprising a defence force, a
police force, a judiciary, a civil
administration and other institutions for
effective governance of a people, and
capability of entering into agreements
with other governments with a line of
control reflecting the ground reality of
the existence of the Tamil homeland
demarcated with recognised borders. The
CFA recognised the balance of power
between the GOSL and the LTTE and was
premised on this balance of power."
CFA's sad and sudden slide to non-declared
war is very clear in what the peace
monitors said on February 22. The gains of
three years have been lost in 15 months,
with the death toll rising up 30 times. Up
to December of 2005, only 130 conflict
related deaths had been reported since
February 22, 2002. Since January 2006 the
toll is an astonishing 4000. "At the
time of the five-year milestone, however;
shelling and air strikes are taking
place at a war like level," the
monitors now relegated to a side show
it has been the trend, the two parties
blamed each other -"It is reasonable
to conclude on an analysis of the
atrocious record of violence maintained by
the LTTE since the signing of the CFA and
in particular since November 2005, that
the LTTE has not kept to the main
objectives of the CFA. This is also
clearly reflected in the many instances in
which they have refused to participate in
any negotiations with the Government of
Sri Lanka," the government Peace
Tigers said that it was the government
that was to be blamed.
"Current Sri Lankan President,
Mahinda Rajapakse assumed power in 2005.
Immediately after his term of office
began, the shadow war being waged against
and the Tamil people by the Sri
Lankan military intelligence wing using
the paramilitary groups intensified. A
dark phase has begun to unravel in the
Tamil homeland; people are being
terrorised by cold-blooded killings and
'disappearances," the Tigers said.
Same sentiments, different villains.
days ahead do not promise anything but a
continuation of the
hostilities. The Tigers last week
said that they would dig in for a fight in
area. The Tiger eastern military
strength, or whatever is left of it now is
concentrated in the area.
is different to Vaharai, it will require
different military applications,
there are lot of jungles and hills, so it
will be different," Tiger military
spokesperson Rasiah Illanthirayan said.
added that the Tigers were well supplied
and even suggested that cadres were moving
in and out of the areas. "Routine
movement is taking place as usual."
Karuna group, that vowed to take on the
Tigers in Toppigala on the very day
Vaharai fell, said that Tiger cadres had
been fleeing the area. Spokesperson Azad
Moulana said that at least 300 had fled to
Wanni using jungle paths through the
Habarana area. Illanthirayan denied any
losing three of its artillery pieces, two
152 mm's and at least one 120mm damaged,
possibly two according to the army, the
Tigers could still possess two more pieces
in Toppigala. Moualana said that they
believed two 120 mm pieces that Karuna
himself had captured from the security
forces in Palpuknawa area in 2001 may be
stationed there. "We think they have
could be flushed out'
Moulana was sure that the Tigers could be
flushed out from the Toppigala area.
Illanthirayan scoffed at the thought -
"Let see," he said.
Tigers also said that Trincomalee
military head Suwarnam had returned
to the east from the Wanni. Suwarnam had
disappeared from the Tiger communication
networks on January 14,
that was when the airforce carried
out a raid on his camp, north of Vaharai.
There was speculation that he may have
crossed over to the Toppigala area through
Punnani on January 20, the day after
Vaharai was secured by the armed forced.
morning, confrontations broke out on the
main A11 highway
when fleeing Tigers were met with
heavy fire by the armed forces. More than
10 died in the confrontations. Another
report said that an injured Suwarnam had
reached Wanni through the sea.
or otherwise, the Tigers now say that he
is back in the east. "He has returned
and he is there now," Illanthirayan
army says that it is poised to regain
Toppigala, and there have also been
concerns expressed on the situation in
Vavuniya and in Jaffna, especially areas
lying close to the line of command.
Tigers suggested that it was not backing
off, the government has no such intention,
and along the line of control both sides
are eyeing each other down. "The Sri
Lankan government's ongoing war of
aggression, aimed at the subjugation of
the Tamil people under the guise of 'War
on Terrorism,' will add to the
bloodstained pages of the island's
history. It has also compelled the Tamil
people to resume their freedom struggle to
realise their right to self -
determination and to achieve
statehood," they said.
the country watched the fifth year
anniversary come and go, protests erupted
in Colombo against the truce. The JVP
backed Federation of National
Organisations (FNO) and the National
Bhikku Front (NBF) joined hands.
two protests were to be separate events on
either side of Town Hall last week, but
the FNO marched up to the stage where the
NBF monks were about to launch a fast unto
death. . The FNO leaders appealed to the
monks to give up the fast and join hands,
and they did.
will destroy the forces that want the CFA
to continue, it has sold out our nation,
we will not give up now, not when the
enemy is down" Ven. Damabara Amila
Thero of the NBF said.
plans to ease Jaffna's pains
government has brought forth a new
set of proposals to ease the food
and medicine situation in Jaffna, as
both the government and the LTTE
continued to blame each other for
the plight of the civilians.
Rights and Disaster Management
Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has
made a fresh set of proposals to the
Ministry of Defence at the
fortnightly Consultative Committee
on Humanitarian Assistance.
UN has once again been brought into
the picture and one of
Samarasinghe's proposals is
the UN to send supplies to
Jaffna by plane. The UN has sent
supplies to the north by aircraft
and has also operated flights for
staff and others.
for improvement were made by the
Joint Assessment Team on issues
relating to essential supplies and
services, health services,
livelihood and movement of
people," the Ministry said.
the UN has been reluctant to play a
direct and a prominent role in
easing the Jaffna blockade on since
the closure of the A9 on August 11.
year there was also a suggestion to
have UN shops supplying Jaffna, this
was soon after the ICRC had to
withdraw when the Tigers declined to
give security guarantees. The UN too
said that it would only take over
supplies if security guarantees were
available. In fact former UN Under
Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs
Jan Egeland wrote to Samarasinghe
and said that the UN would seek
security guarantees from non state
sectors as well.
new Samarasinghe proposals include:
General Essential Services
and WFP to work in close
consultation towards building a
buffer stock in Jaffna
to strike a balance by sending
nutritional items when shipping
essential commodities to Jaffna.
to ensure that
red rice be purchased locally
and shipped to Jaffna and every
shipment to contain medical supplies
such as vaccines to build up stock,
shipments to Jaffna would carry
livestock feed, telecommunication
repair equipment and construction
material for development projects
of mail and parcels to be cleared
with Sri Lanka Navy.
to open a State Pharmaceutical
Corporation (SPC) Osusala outlet in
Jaffna so that private
pharmaceutical traders and the
public can obtain medical supplies
The UN would look into
chartering a cargo plane to
supplement government efforts in
sending supplies to Jaffna.
the passenger waiting area at the
ports in Jaffna.
buses for the Jaffna peninsula in
order to improve transport
Possibility of reducing the
cost of flights to Jaffna.
have now been forwarded to the
Defence Secretary who has to give
the final ok.
UN office in Colombo however said
that it could not comment on the new
proposals as the discussions at the
committee were usually considered