TNA urges SL President to restore status quo ante

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 November 2003, 20:27 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance in a statement Friday urged Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, to take appropriate steps to ensure that the situation of a lack of clarity and uncertainty now prevailing in the country following the take over of three ministries is ended by restoring the status quo ante.

" It is the bounden duty of the President in the interests of the country, to ensure that the ceasefire agreement is sustained and the opportunity to take the peace process forward and evolve a just and durable solution to the Tamil question is not lost," the TNA said in a press statement issued Friday night.

The leaders of the Tamil National Alliance met at an emergency session Friday evening at the office of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) in Colombo and reviewed the current political situation and the future peace process, following the statement by the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, regarding Norway's future role in the Sri Lankan peace process.

At the conclusion of the discussion leaders of the constituent parties in the Tamil National Alliance, Messrs R.Sampanthan of TULF, Mr.A.Vinayagamoorthy of the ACTC, Mr.A. Selvam Adaikalanathan of TELO and Mr.Suresh Premachchandran of the EPRLF signed press release.

The TNA statement follows:

" The Tamil national Alliance met urgently to consider the statement made by the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister on behalf of the Norwegian Government, that ‘though in terms of their mandate, peace talks could have started tomorrow, provided there were clarity about who is holding political authority and responsibility on behalf of the Government, to ensure the continuation of the Ceasefire Agreement, and the resumption of peace negotiations, and that though until last week there was such clarity, but that today their no such clarity, and that until such clarity is re-established there is no space for further efforts by the Norwegian Government to assist the parties.’

“The Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister has further clearly stated, that it is clearly not, and it has never been, within Norway's mandate to facilitate between political parties in the South.

"Recent developments have compelled the Norwegian Government to take the above stated position, and these developments have consequently placed in grave jeopardy the resumption of talks, the continuation of the peace process, and thereby the sustenance of the ceasefire agreement.

"The TNA strongly takes the view that the ceasefire agreement cannot be sustained, in the absence of comprehensive co-ordination between steps relating to the peace process, and all matters pertaining to Defense, flowing from a single authority as the two are inextricably interlinked and that the continuance of a state of uncertainty in regard to the above will inevitably place the ceasefire agreement in peril.

"It is indisputable that the above lack of clarity has come about consequent to changes in the structure of Government, particularly relating to Defense, given effect to Her Excellency the President without consultations with the Prime Minister, who from the date of the ceasefire agreement was effectively in control of the peace process and all matters relating to defense.

"The TNA states that it is the bounden duty of the President in the interests of the country, to ensure that the ceasefire agreement is sustained and the opportunity to take the peace process forward and evolve a just and durable solution to the Tamil question is not lost.

"The TNA urges the President to take appropriate steps to ensure that the situation of a lack of clarity and uncertainty is ended by restoring the status quo ante."

 

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