U.S. Urges LTTE To Honor Ceasefire Agreement

Topic started by VP (@ on Tue Mar 12 02:06:08 .
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U.S. Urges LTTE To Honor Ceasefire Agreement

Colombo, 11 March 2002 - We have heard credible reports that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are engaged in activities that could jeopardize the recent indefinite ceasefire accord reached with the Sri Lankan government. These reports recount increased LTTE recruitment in Sri Lanka’s north and east, including of children, as well as kidnapping and extortion, especially of Muslims. To be fair, we understand that incidents of recruitment, kidnapping and extortion have apparently decreased in recent days, a trend that we hope will continue.

There also have been credible reports of LTTE resupply operations since the ceasefire. Continued smuggling of weapons by the LTTE could undermine the trust needed to move from a cessation of hostilities to a lasting peace.

The U.S. understands that both sides, not just the LTTE, have responsibilities under the terms of the ceasefire accord. In the current international context, however, in which terrorism is being condemned in more and more countries, the LTTE should be especially vigilant about observing the terms of the ceasefire accord. If it does not, it will increase its international isolation and do harm to the group it claims to represent, Sri Lanka’s Tamils, who earnestly want an end to the war. On the other hand, if the LTTE chooses the path of peace, ends its reliance on terrorism, accepts that an independent “Eelam” is both unattainable and unnecessary, and honors democratic and human rights norms, the U.S. will respond positively.

We urge that the government and the LTTE take advantage of the ceasefire accord, and work with the Norwegian government to negotiate a permanent settlement of the conflict.


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