Ready to continue discarded Norway deal: LTTE

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{image-Sri Lanka-Peace_10012008.jpg}Colombo, Jan 10: Even though the Sri Lankan government has officially withdrawn from the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) last week, the Tamil Tiger rebels have expressed its readiness to continue with the faltering truce pact.

Charging that the Rajapaksa government has unilaterally withdrawn from the truce pact ''without any justifications,'' the LTTE in a statement urged Norway to continue its role as facilitators with the backing of the international community. ''The LTTE wishes to state that even at this juncture, it is ready to implement every clause of the CFA agreement and respect it 100 per cent. We also request that Norway should continue with its facilitation role with the support of the international community,'' the LTTE's political wing head P Nadeson has said in the statement to Norway.

This the first official reaction by the LTTE after the Rajapaksa government gave the mandatory two weeks notice to Norwegian facilitators on January 2 formally terminating the faltering truce pact, which officially comes to an end on January 16.

Several members of the international community have expressed fears that the violence might further escalate in the country with the Nordic truce monitors winding up their offices after the termination of the truce deal.

Accusing the government of seeking a military approach, the LTTE has said that ''the history is replete with examples of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) abrogation of pacts that were made to bring permanent peace for the Tamil people.'' The abrogation by the Lankan Government of the unprecedented nearly six year long CFA has clearly demonstrated that the government will never permit the Tamil people to live with freedom in their homeland.

Therefore, the international community must understand this, and immediately remove the bans it has placed on the LTTE believing the false propaganda of the Lankan Government, accept the just aspirations of the Tamil people, and recognize the right of the Tamil people to live with self-determination in their homeland, the LTTE statement said.

The government said that it decided to withdraw from the ceasefire as it ''does not want to be a party to a non-functioning, useless ceasefire agreement' and said that it would consider holding talks with the rebels if they lay down their weapons.'' The government has also indicated that it wanted to redefine the future role of Norway.


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