Thursday, January 10, 2008

Analysis of CFA by the Foreign Minister who was killed by Tamil Tigers

Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar’s May 2003 speech on the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).

Statements on the recent abrogation by the Government of Sri Lanka of the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002 attribute it variously to the ‘hard-line Sinhala nationalism’ or ‘militarism’ of the incumbent administration of President Rajapakse, and/or the alleged influence on it of the radical ultranationalist JVP (and, in some versions, the JHU). This distorted interpretation is given the lie by the Parliamentary speech of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar delivered in May 2003, which also makes extensive reference to the early criticism of the CFA made in a letter by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, days after Prime Minister Wickremesinghe signed the agreement in Feb 2002. Both the 2002 Presidential statement and the 2003 speech contain trenchant criticism of the CFA and the role and functioning of the Nordic SLMM. Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar goes on to warn that the CFA would turn Sri Lanka into “a sovereign shell”.

President Mahinda Rajapakse was elected in December 2005. His recent decision to abrogate the CFA puts an end to and reverses the dangerous erosion that the late Foreign Minister, murdered by an LTTE sniper, strenuously cautioned Sri Lanka against.


“Our contention is that from the very signing of the Ceasefire Agreement on 22nd February 2002 the sovereignty of Sri Lanka has been steadily and visibly eroded to the point where Sri Lanka is in danger of being reduced to a nominal sovereign State. Soon Sri Lanka will be a sovereign shell, the major attributes of a sovereign State - the capacity to govern, to resolve justifiable issues, to enforce the law, to protect its citizens throughout the entirety of its territory are being drained away by stealth, fractured by assault and worn down by attrition. This process commenced, with, and is being facilitated by, the Ceasefire Agreement itself, a structurally flawed document whose imperfections have now been clearly revealed, and are being deeply felt, as the weeks and months go by”.

Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar May 8, 2003

Full Speech: Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka