LTTE bluff on the 'Paramilitary' issue
POLITICS: The President and the
Government must not be taken in by the LTTE bluff on the paramilitary
Thank god it is not Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP that is now
talking with the LTTE, but the UPFA. Else we would have come from Geneva
with a commitment in the joint statement that would have been issued to
the effect that "the GOSL agrees that the Karuna faction along with the
other factions, viz the EPDP, PLOTE and EPRLF have unlike the LTTE,
violated the CFA, and accordingly, conceding that GOSL military forces
have assisted these factions, undertake to disarm them and take all such
action as is necessary to ensure that only the LTTE will, other than
GOSL, be an armed force and provide it with such aid as may be needed to
annihilate the Karuna and other factions, including even the GOSL's
intelligence operatives." Or words to such lethal effect.
Last President Rajapakse is tempted to give into the LTTE's
paramilitary bluff, and initiate doing a 'Ranil' it would be salutary to
reiterate the position, and point out some other factors that clearly
show that the GOSL has no obligation or need whatsoever to intervene in
the Karuna/other paramilitaries issue.
It has no obligation to disarm armed groups except as set in Clause
1.8 of the CFA. Why? Here are the reasons:
1) When the Karuna Group broke away from the LTTE, the LTTE itself
asserted that the GOSL must not intervene or have anything to do on the
matter as it was a purely 'internal issue'. Karuna's attacks on the LTTE
were 'mosquito bites' it grandly asserted.
The LTTE would squash the group in no time. The LTTE has thereby
conceded that the Karuna Group does not come within the definition of
'paramilitary groups' that need to be disarmed, as set out in Clause 1.8
of the CFA.
Having shouted that GOSL had no business intervening, it cannot now
claim that GOSL has welshed on the CFA by not intervening.
2) Clause 1.8. requires GOSL to disarm paramilitary group (pmgs) 'by
D-day + 30 at the latest'. D-day was 22.2.2002.
This means that GOSL had to disarm PMGS by March 24, 2002 at the
latest. (Open to correction as to the exact March date!) It means that
only PMGS in existence at 24.3.02 had to be disarmed, or could be
disarmed. Surely GOSL cannot be expected to disarm PMGS which did not
exist! It's a physical impossibility.
The Clause says "D-Day+30", not "D-Day+30 or later". Nor does it say
"D-Day+Infinity". Had it said so, future PMGS are covered.
3) As a corollary to above. The Karuna Group emerged in April 2004.
D-Day+30 is March 24, 2002, latest. So how can a future entity be
disarmed by a past date? As I see it, this could be done only by testing
Einstein's theory that if one travels at the speed of light, time is
slowed down or some such effect happens.
If the Karuna Group can be sent by the LTTE into space at the speed
of light, perhaps its 2004 emergence might be slowed down to 2002 birth,
time having slowed down. Then that PMG will come within "D+30" and be
4) Let's look at the Geneva Statement. On the PMG issue it states
that "GOSL is committed to taking all necessary measures in accordance
with the CFA to ensure that no armed group or person other than Govt
security forces will carry arms or conduct armed operations".
Note the phrase: "in accordance with the CFA". GOSL's arms cleansing
measures must be taken in "accordance with the CFA. The relevant CFA
Clause on disarming is clause 1.8, referred to the above. This enjoins
GOSL to disarm all Tamil PMGS by D-day+30.
Since the Karuna PMG was not in existence at D+30, the GOSL, if it is
to act "in accordance with the CFA" as in the Geneva Statement, has no
business interfering with the Karuna PMG, of any PMG that arose after
March 2002, or may arise in future.
The Date "D+30 at the latest" is of the essence, and cannot, must not
be allowed to be ignored or over ridden by the LTTE or Norway.
5) Lets get to the meaning of "Paramilitary Groups. "What really are
they. The dictionaries define these as groups organised on military
lines, and "intended to supplement the strictly military (Chambers 20th
When the CFA was signed, was Karuna's group or any Muslim group part
of the Govt. Forces and intended to supplement our (GOSL's) military
forces. On the contrary Prabhakaran was getting Karuna's Eastern LTTE to
bear the brunt of action against the GOSL military. A PMG acts as an
auxiliary of the military.
The Army says it has no such forces. No proof has been shown. Even
the pro-LTTE SLMM Facilitator, Norway say there is no evidence that the
Karuna Group is a GOSL paramilitary force, or that the GOSL assists
them. Whether substantively or from a legal viewpoint, the Govt should
not make Karuna its Business.
6) 'D-day + 30 at the latest' must haunt the LTTE. The 30 days is the
outer limit of inclusiveness of whatever pmgs existed. If any future pmg
was intended to be within the ambit of this disarming clause, it could
well have been specifically stated, with no ambiguities whatever.
Obviously 'post-30' pmgs are not GOSL's burden.
7) Supposing there are more defections from the LTTE, Karuna-like in
the future. It is ludicrous if the LTTE were to contend that under the
CFA such future groups too must be disarmed by GOSL.
Does the LTTE expect GOSL to be and become a 'nanny' to its
recalcitrant, disobedient issue, whenever it cannot tame or control
them? These are the absurd implications of the ludicrous LTTE claim that
under the CFA taming Karuna and other 'post-30' pmgs are GOSL's
The truth is that the LTTE is cringing and imploring GOSL's help to
eliminate these pmgs so that it is an easier fight the GOSL itself.
An outfit that grandly and pompously claimed that Karuna was a
trifling problem for it which it could handle without much effort, is
now pleading, cringing before GOSL and the Facilitator for help!
In this situation it is vital that the President tell the
Facilitator, the SLMM and the International Community (IC) to look at
the plain wording and terms of Clause 1.8 of the CFA, whereunder
disarming of only pre-d+30 pmgs are GOSL's obligation, and not any pmgs
that may emerge thereafter.
If these latter were to be included it could and should have been
stated specifically, clearly and categorically. The LTTE now refuses to
review the terms of the CFA, for propping up its weak points. So it
cannot now have 'post-30 pmgs' included.
Solheim claimed that Geneva will discuss only implementational
issues. On that, the UNP Govt. did diligently implement, by disarming
all so-called pmgs, and even political parties that resisted the LTTE.
So much so that the LTTE kept murdering EPDP, PLOTE, EPRLF cadres
mercilessly with little protection afforded to them by the UNP. The UNP
in fact appeared to think that our intelligence cadres too came within
Clause 1.8 and enabled their elimination by the LTTE.
This was an act of infamy and treachery that the UNP will never be
able to forget or be allowed to forget. President Rajapakse must not
allow the Karuna Group and any future anti-LTTE outfits to be so dealt
with by the LTTE.
For this it must bluntly reject the LTTE-Norway obscenity that
demands GOSL to disarm the Karuna cadres, and attempts to get GOSL to do
what the LTTE now finds it cannot.
Call the LTTE's bluff. It is already breaching Geneva, but pointing
fingers at GOSL. Call its bluff, Mr. President. - 'S.A.'