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Published on Jan 19, 2008
[British Tamils Forum;15 January 2008]
The Sri Lankan government has unilaterally scrapped the Cease Fire Agreement from 16th January 2008, which was monitored by the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and has sent the Nordic Monitors home. This precipitous action by the government has jettisoned any prospect for a peaceful political settlement. The UN, the International NGOs and anyone who has worked in the humanitarian field in Sri Lanka, have all protested vehemently about the torture, kidnapping, indiscriminate aerial bombardment of the civilian population and the killing of 42 NGO workers by the government forces and their paramilitaries. Sri Lanka was ranked third worldwide in the number of journalists killed with seven journalists murdered in 2007 in the line of duty, only behind Iraq and Somalia. In the last two years two Tamil MPs were assassinated in Colombo, where the finger points to government backed paramilitary elements in order to stifle or eliminate the Tamil leadership. The government has yet to prosecute any one in the armed services for massacres of innocent civilians. We think that the partisan international pressure exerted by Western countries only on the LTTE was a mistake in that it led the GoSL to consider it a carte blanche from the international community to scrap the cease fire agreement and finish off the Tamils in a one-sided war. We feel that a more even handed approach from the international community between the two proponents, including sanctions on the GoSL for human rights abuses, will even now be more conducive to a negotiated peace settlement in Sri Lanka.