Monday, March 3, 2008

"Tigers Will Negotiate If A9 Opens-TNA" - A Response

By Darmitha-Kotte

An article which appeared in the front page of the Daily Mirror of 28th
February 2008 needs comments just in case TNA members have short
memories. The two opening paragraphs of the above article states,
"The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) said yesterday it could
prevail upon the LTTE to return to the negotiating table in the event of
the positive announcement by the Government to resume the peace process.
TNA Jaffna district MP N.Srikantha told the Daily Mirror yesterday that
it was all the more welcome if the announcement is accompanied by the
re-opening on the A9 roas as a gesture of good-will."

If the LTTE and TNA are both sincere in their commitment to peaceful
negotiations, there is absolutely no need to lay down terms and
conditions for the Government to make good-will gestures. The Government
can also say that “the LTTE must lay down arms if they want to
negotiate” and the Government has every right to demand that to prove
LTTE sincerity. The untold misery that people in the North are facing,
is not because of the Government but because the LTTE terrorists have
been conducting a bloody and brutal war totally insensitive to the
suffering of the Northern and Eastern civilian population for the last
30 years! It is they who first and foremost, murdered Tamil civilians to
threaten them into subservience. It is they who have deprived the
civilians of normal life, education, proper food supplies and health
facilities and at the expense of all this suffering profited by
extorting “ kappang money” from every trader in the North and East. The
Government had no hand in any of this. The “good-will gesture” of the
Government, is to make every effort to eliminate terrorism to enable
ordinary civilians to return to normal life in a safe and guaranteed manner.

Before the 2001 elections, Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe sent special envoys
like Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane to the Wanni to conduct discussions
subsequent to which he arbitrarily agreed to the Ceasefire Agreement
which was drafted by Norway and the LTTE and no sooner than he became
Prime Minister, signed it and made every opportunity possible to please
the terrorists by not only hurriedly ensuring that the A9 Road was
opened and paved the way for “terrorism” to earn a daily income of
Rs.4-5million from those entering the Wanni-he also encouraged
Southerners to do tourist trips to the North! He also permitted the
terrorists to operate their own legal courts in those areas, permitted
them to extort money in the form of Kappangs, permitted them to operate
their own “police force” and many more such perks- ALL IN THE NAME OF
GOOD-WILL. He even agreed to hold peace negotiations in any city of
their choice-Geneva, Oslo, Bangkok, Tokyo etc. Did that satisfy the LTTE
terrorists and did they honour those gestures on the part of the then
UNP Government under Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe? NO- by 2003 with the
Tokyo talks, the LTTE found lame excuses not to negotiate! The CFA was
already abrogated in 2003 and the terrorists committed every possible
heinous crime under the sun against the civilians and The State while
foreign Monitors opted to look up and wait! At this time, did the TNA
try to prevail upon the LTTE?

No matter what good-will gesture any Government shows, the LTTE
terrorists only know armed struggle and brutality, for them to have
commanding powers over the majority Hindu Tamils in the North. Without
suicide bombs, Claymore bombs –they are nothing and do not represent the
Tamil community in this country. It is a shame that the TNA for their
own survival as well, is resorting to thuggery in the August House of
Parliament to demand things for a group of terrorists who are doing more
harm to their own people than others.

The present Government gave the LTTE every opportunity when they first
came into power, to prove that they were sincere in their peace
negotiations –when it was obvious that peace was not their objective,
then as the Government quite rightly needs to do to protect its citizens
from terrorism, have now conducted a very successful process to
eliminate terrorism from the country. Let that take its course for the
majority civilian population and the entire land mass of Sri Lanka to
return to peace and harmony without conditions!

Opening of the A9 Road will in no way change the brutal mentality of a
small group of terrorists.