Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sri Lanka: preparing for more bloodshed

On 2 January 2008, the government of Sri Lanka officially scrapped the Cease-fire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE brokered by Norway in 2002.

The development has hardly surprised any body as the CFA has been considered as “dead” long ago. Till April 2007, LTTE reportedly violated the provisions of the CFA 3,830 times and government 351 times (The Hindu ). The violations were so regular and brutal after escalation of hostilities since July 2006 that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has stopped issuing ruling on the violations. The repeated international condemnations of the serious human rights violations went unheeded both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.

The CFA has become a “joke” on the face of Norway. Yet, Norway expressed deep concerns over Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement.

Recently, a Sri Lanka official hinted that Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran might have been killed in the air raid on his bunker on 26 November 2007. With the formal withdrawal from the CFA, the Sri Lankan government could be signaling a major shift in its policy vis-à-vis the LTTE. The government may be interested to hear a reply from Mr Prabhakaran himself to ascertain if he is really alive. Most importantly, the government could be definitely preparing for an all-out military strike against the Tigers.

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