CFA abolition no bar to talks
The Government’s decision to abrogate the Ceasefire Agreement was
based on a policy decision and the doors are yet wide open for a
peaceful and negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict,
Cabinet Spokesman and Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana
Yapa said yesterday.
Addressing the maiden Cabinet news briefing for the New Year at the
Government Information Department Auditorium in Narahenpita, Minister
Yapa said the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) signed between former Premier
Ranil Wickremesinghe and Vellupillai Prabhakaran in 2002, will be
abrogated based on a Cabinet memorandum submitted by Prime Minister
Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday night.
“The LTTE had consistently and blatantly flouted and violated the
said CFA by well over 10,000 occasions, and rendered it absolutely
ineffective and futile for further adherence or any practical purpose,”
the Minister said.
“Nonetheless, this measure taken by the Government does not in any
way rule out a negotiated and peaceful solution to the ethnic crisis. We
will seriously and anxiously pursue a peaceful end to the issue in terms
of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) proposals which are due
If the conditions are right, we can resume talks with anyone.
However, due to the CFA now being defunct, we are abrogating it,”
Minister Yapa categorically stated.
He pointed out that under the present circumstances, the Government
was of the view that talking with the LTTE was futile and in vain, and
if the scenario changes for the better and the LTTE was prepared to lay
down their arms and start talks with the Government, then the Government
could respond accordingly.
The agreement relating to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) too
would become ineffective in the process and the Prime Minister and the
Foreign Ministry will be entrusted to work out the legal framework and
the formalities by which the SLMM and the Norwegian Facilitators would
be notified accordingly, pertaining to the Government’s decision to
withdraw from the CFA. A detailed statement from the Foreign Ministry
Responding to queries from journalists, Yapa said the Cabinet had not
yet decided to ban the LTTE.