Govt to withdraw from Ceasefire
The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday unanimously decided to withdraw
from the Ceasefire Agreement entered with the LTTE in 2002, Government
Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Daily
News last night.
The Cabinet has approved the Cabinet memorandum submitted by Prime
Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanyaka at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
The motion has been moved since there was no point in continuing with
the Ceasefire Agreement as the LTTE has committed a large number of
Ceasefire violations, the Minister added. "The Government decided to
officially withdraw from the Ceasefire Agreement since it is futile to
continue with the Ceasefire with no indication that LTTE is willing to
enter the peace path," the Minister said.
The Government took this decision taking into account the number of
Ceasefire violations by the LTTE, the Minister added.
"The Ceasefire has been violated by the LTTE more than 10,000 times.
The Cabinet decision will be put into practice by using the terms and
conditions of the Ceasefire Agreement itself," the Minister added.
According to sources the Cabinet has entrusted to Prime Minister
Wickremanayaka the task of notifying the Norwegian facilitators
regarding the Government's decision to withdraw from the Ceasefire.
According to the Agreement, either party should give two weeks
notification prior to the withdrawal from the Ceasefire to the Norwegian
Almost six years have lapsed since the signing of the Ceasefire
Agreement on February 22, 2002.
The Ceasefire came into effect on February 22, 2002 with then Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signing the controversial Ceasefire
Agreement to pursue a peaceful solution to the North East problem.
Velupillai Prabhakaran signed the agreement on behalf of the LTTE.
The peace talks initiated during the UNF regime collapsed after six
rounds of talks with LTTE unilaterally withdrawing from peace talks,
violating the Oslo declaration where the two parties decided to settle
on a federal solution.
The six rounds of peace were held from September 2002 to March 2003
three times in Thailand and the other three rounds in Norway, Germany
and Japan. "The peace process was again revived after President Mahinda
Rajapaksa came to power in 2005 and LTTE the continued its terror acts
showing no commitment to the Ceasefire," Minister Rambukwella added.
However, the Rajapaksa administration strictly adhered to the policy
of not compromising on the national security and engaged in pre-emptive
measures against terror activities of the LTTE.
The LTTE commenced terror activities in December 2005 despite
attempts by the Rajapaksa administration to pursue a peaceful solution
to the problem and 264 Security Forces personnel were killed in these
The two rounds of talks held in Geneva during the Rajapaksa
administration collapsed with the LTTE withdrawing from talks for no
apparent reason and continuing terror activities.
"The Ceasefire was almost abandoned by the LTTE during this period
continuing with its terror activities and the decision to officially
withdraw from the Ceasefire was taken considering this aspect," the
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in an exclusive interview with
the Daily News on Friday said that Government should officially withdraw
from the Ceasefire and ban the LTTE for a fresh approach to the Tamil
question. He said the CFA only existed on paper and had become a joke in
the eyes of the people.