Pro-LTTE party dismayed over Co-Chairs’ statement

February 5th, 2009 - 12:17 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Feb 4 (IANS) Expressing dismay over a statement from Co-Chairs of Sri Lanka’s donnors, a pro-LTTE Tamil party Wednesday said it was unfortunate that the international community was assisting the Sri Lankan state instead of compelling it to “adhere to the international humanitarian laws”. The US, the EU, Japan and Norway are four-member Oo-Chairs to Sri Lanka’s donor community and were supporting the 2002 Norway-brokered peace process.

Jointly expressing their “great concern” at the plight of thousands of civilians trapped in fierce fighting in north Sri Lanka, the Co-Chairs Tuesday urged the Libteration Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lay down weapons, accept Colombo’s amnesty and enter political process to end the bloody ethnic conflict.

Appreciating the concerns the Co-Chairs have expressed over the suffering of the Tamil people in the northern war-zone, the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a statement said the “humanitarian tragedy” in the north was a result of the action by the government of Sri Lanka.

“It is unfortunate that the international community, particularly India and the signatories to the statement in question, whilst being fully aware of these facts, instead of collectively using their immense leverage on the Sri Lanka State to compel it to adhere to IHL, are in fact providing military and economic support to the Sri Lanka State,” the TNA statement said.

The TNA has 22 members in the 225-member parliament of Sri Lanka.

“It should be noted that it is the need to resist the physical/military subjugation of the Tamil people by the Sri Lanka state that led to the advent of Tamil armed resistance. It is only the LTTE that is resisting the aforementioned genocidal designs of the Sri Lanka State,” the TNA said.

The Co-Chairs in a statement Tuesday said the international efforts “to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed and there remains probably only a short period of time before the LTTE loses control of all areas in the north”.

The Co-Chairs also said that they would work with the government of Sri Lanka, India, the United Nations and others to ensure “the internally displaced people from the north are transferred to temporary camps where UN agencies, the ICRC, and humanitarian organisations will have full access and the IDPs will be treated according to international standards and resettled in their original homes as soon as possible”.

But the TNA in its response said these countries while calling on both parties to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) “know full well that it is the Sri Lanka state that is deliberately targeting Tamil civilians and thereby is in gross violation of such laws”.

“This policy that is being pursued by the Sri Lanka state is a crime against humanity. The pursuit of this policy by the Sri Lanka state in the space of this week alone has resulted in hundreds of Tamil civilian killings and thousands being gravely wounded,” the TNA said.

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