UNP challenges government to abrogate CFA if they can

By Walter Jayawardhana

TISSA ATTANAYAKA CHALLENGES THE GOVERNMENT TO ABROGATE THE CONTROVERSIAL CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IF THEY COULD

At a meeting held at Polonnaruwa in the Norh Central Province of Sri Lanka, the main opposition in parliament, the United National Party challenged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to abrogate the Ceasefire Agreement his leader Ranil Wickremesinghe signed with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Attanayaka accused Rajapaksa of giving evasive answers regarding the CFA and charged his responses like, “ I don’t care there is a CFA or not,” kind of answers were not suitable for a leader of a country.

Attanayaka, a protégé of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is believed to be uttering his leader’s policy in various statements UNP reformists say.

The Norway brokered CFA was signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran without the approval of Sri Lanka’s parliament and Executive president of the country and has no value as a legal document, according to some experts, in law.

Both of them signed the document without seeing each other. At first it was believed that it was drafted by the Norwegians. But later it was revealed it was drafted by Eric Solheim, a Norwegian leftist with the help of LTTE’s advisor Anton Balasingham with a LTTE bias.

While the LTTE violated it more than six thousand times, entering Colombo to kill intelligence officers of the security forces, assassinating Tamil leaders with impunity, kidnapping Tamil children to be conscripted as child soldiers, smuggling in tons and tons of sophisticated weapons from Europe, Asia and India Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government did not retaliate trying not to break a word of the CFA. The LTTE’s open policy was not to get involved in the peace process and to leave the peace talks abruptly during the reign of Ranil Wickremesinghe abusing the CFA to achieve its separatist goals, while buying time. But the UNP policy was to be patient during all these violations.

The patience was described by a confidante of Ranil Wickremesinghe recently. A go between of the UNP and LTTE and UNP parliamentarian said the UNP never expected the killings and the bombings, the kidnappings and the murders of the opponents would completely stop by the CFA. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena the confidante of Ranil Wickremesinghe said the CFA was only a stepping stone and his party never expected those violations would come to a standstill. In brief the CFA, according to UNP, is a document that could be violated by the LTTE and for the sake of a greater peace in the horizon they had to tolerate all that.

The kind of retaliation by the Rajapaksa government in the case of the blockage of civilian irrigation water using military force was very much disliked by a UNP spokesman. The UNP represented by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said they boycotted the All Party Conference and emphasized his leader would not attend conferences to listen to war talks. But ironically Senaratne later joined the Rajapaksa government. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and Tissa Attanayaka more loyal to their leader call such retaliation mismanagement of the CFA signed on February 22 2002. They believe a peace environment should be created by the government despite the violations by the LTTE.

But the war this time was initiated at Mavil Aru and escalated by the LTTE. The government also violated the CFA. President Rajapaksa boldly called there were no LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka and chased out the LTTE from the Eastern Province except from few hideouts in the Thoppigala jungles in the Eastern Province.

There is no doubt CFA is dead despite the UNP has vowed to preserve it. It looks more like a stuffed mummy, a diplomat recently said. According to him there is no point in abrogating it. True, it has many defects. It was born that way. Some Norwegians like Erick Solheim is being hated as much as the the cruel Portuguese General who participated in the occupation of Sri Lanka in the 16th century, De Asevedo. He is being likened as an imperial agent, lacking any kind of impartiality, siding with the Tamil Tigers. But many diplomats say at better times if there is a congenial environment to peace CFA could be repaired and upholstered as a more comfortable vehicle to reach peace, after getting rid of its defects and Solheim, of course. Creating a new vehicle, which is the other choice could become a Herculean task, the diplomat said. That may be the reason why the government is not abrogating it, the diplomat said.

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Posted on February 27, 2007, in Sri Lanka and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on UNP challenges government to abrogate CFA if they can.

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