TamilWeek Feb 12, 2006
‘Tamils want a united system
with a federal framework’

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF)
Leader V.Anandasangari while
condemning the Ceasefire Agreement
that exists between the government and
the LTTE, says the government without
discussing the agreement at the first
round of talks, should immediately
abrogate it.
TULF Leader
V. Anandasangaree
He said it is the CFA that has paved the way for LTTE infiltration
into the entire country and added it is the same agreement that
also gave room for the LTTE to subjugate the Tamil population.  
The Tamils are not free.  They are under the LTTE control.  What
are the so called facilitators and the government doing about it?  
Nothing.  “The government has totally failed to liberate the Tamils
from the clutches of the LTTE,” the seasoned politician told in an
interview.

Following are excerpts:

By Wilson Gnanadass  

Q: Both the government and the LTTE are once again
planning to hold peace negotiations in Geneva. Are you
satisfied with the venue and the entire peace process?

A: I have no faith in the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the
government must cancel it and the CFA must be renewed with
fresh terms and conditions.  After the Sri Lanka Army liberated
Jaffna the people were free. But now what is seen is a completely
different thing.

Even in democratic Sri Lanka the majority of the people are not
free. The LTTE is controlling every nook and corner. And how is it
done?  This is done with the help of the CFA. The CFA has paved
the way for the LTTE members to enter the entire country.
According to the CFA the first month 50 Tigers were allowed to
come into the government areas to do political work. The second
month it was 100 and now we see them all over the country. But
the government forces, even those who go on leave don’t cross
the A 9.  I asked the Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim when I
met him last whether he could visit the iron gate of the LTTE and
he could not answer me. He had every access to the Wanni but
could not go beyond the iron gates of the LTTE.

Q: You said the CFA should be abrogated. Why? If the CFA
is abrogated do you think the situation would be better?

A: You see the CFA has not brought any benefit to the Tamils in
the northeast and to the entire country in general. Of course the
combatants were able to save their lives.  Apart from that the
people who have been living free in the north-east are under the
control of the LTTE.  They are under their subjugation.

Take the CFA clauses for instance, there are provisions that
clearly state that there should not be abductions and
assassinations but they happen almost every day.  The SLMM
was nominated by the Norwegian facilitators and according to
their complaints  the LTTE has violated the CFA more than 3000  
times.  Of this over the first year of the CFA in 2002, 141 adults
have been abducted, in 2003 191 adults abducted, 2004, 155,
and in 2005, 100 people have been abducted, totalling 587.

Now what action has either the SLMM or Norway, or Solheim or
even the government of Sri Lanka taken against the LTTE?
These abducted people are with families. They are  not animals.
Then take the conscription of children into consideration.  In 2002
some 676 kids were conscripted.  In 2003, 593, in 2004, 346 and
in 2005 179,  totalling 1,794 children. My question is, what has
happened to these people? Did the LTTE ever bother to give an
account of these abducted kids or did the Norwegian facilitators
ever try to find out what has happened to them or did even the
government demand from the LTTE to reveal the whereabouts of
these people?

Q: But don’t you agree that it is the CFA that has prevented
a major war in the country?

A: Merely because there is no war, can we subjugate the entire
Tamil community to the LTTE?  It is the bounden duty of the
Sinhalese government including the opposition to help the Tamil
community to liberate themselves. The Sinhalese have suffered
only economically or due to loss of someone in the family. But
take the Tamil community. They continue to suffer. Unfortunately
the people of Jaffna think that the government forces did the
entire destruction. It is not so. It is the LTTE that attacked first and
the government retaliated. In any retaliation destruction is bound
to happen.

Q: The CFA also speaks of disbanding the paramilitary
groups. And it is a known secret that the government is
harbouring Karuna. The government knows where and how
he operates but does not take any action. Is this not a
serious violation?

A: I don’t think so. Because when there are two people fighting,
norms and rule of laws are not adhered to. I am not justifying the
government harbouring Karuna. When Karuna broke away the
government could have taken over Batticaloa just like that.  But
the LTTE said it was an internal matter and the government
should not interfere.  But then why is the LTTE asking the
government to now control Karuna?

Q: Since the meeting Norwegian Minister of International
Development Erik Solheim had with the LTTE Leader and
convinced him to accept the compromise venue for talks,
three major incidents have taken place. The killings of a
local Tiger commander,  a journalist and the abduction of
TRO officials.  The army while rejecting LTTE claims that it
was involved in these incidents openly declared that it was
Karuna who was responsible. But the government has so
far not taken any action against Karuna. How do you view
this?

A: You see, the LTTE is not part of the government and is hostile
to the government. On the other hand the government armed
forces comprise mainly Sinhalese. During the last few years, how
many Sinhalese officers have  been killed?  When nobody talks of
this, why only talk of these three incidents?   

I am not defending the government.  All what I am saying is that it
may be beneficial for the government forces when these two
factions — the LTTE and Karuna — are killing each other. I am
sure the government must be happy about it.

Q: Do you think Karuna is a force to reckon with to be
included at talks?

A: If the LTTE is complaining against Karuna, that means the
LTTE considers Karuna as a force. This is why the LTTE asks the
government to control Karuna. I would say both LTTE and Karuna
should stop killing each other and if that is the case both could be
included in the peace talks.

Q: The LTTE also is not in favour of accommodating a
separate Muslim delegation at talks and is against giving
the Muslims  third party status at talks. What is your
opinion?

A: After driving away the entire Muslim population from the north
and for the LTTE to say that Muslims should not be part of the
discussion… who will accept it? If the LTTE had treated the
Muslims like their brothers then we could understand LTTE talking
on behalf of the Muslims.  But the LTTE has right along been
hostile to them. Therefore they must be a party to the talks and to
a future settlement.

Q: Are you optimistic that the much expected talks in
Geneva would be fruitful?

A: No, it would be a thorough failure. I am very angry that only the
CFA is going to be discussed at the first round of talks. The Swiss
and the Norwegian ambassadors met Tamilselvan yesterday and
he said the first round of talks would centre on the implementation
of the CFA.  How can this happen when people are dying?

Tamilselvan takes everything as a joke. He only smiles.  The
LTTE  has no consideration for the sovereignty of the people.
SLMM has been nominated to monitor the violations. What is the
remedy?  I asked Solheim whether his skin was so thick? I told him
that he was responsible for the violations of the CFA.  I told him
everytime  the CFA was violated the LTTE insulted him. I told him
the LTTE has violated more than 3000 times and said each time a
violation took place it insulted him and further asked Solheim
whether he was not ashamed of it. I am accusing the government
for failing in its duty to liberate the Tamils who are now living
under LTTE subjugation.

Q: The government has decided to hold local polls in the
north and east and the TNA it is learnt is planning to
contest.  Do you think it is prudent to hold elections in the
north-east given the present ground situation?

A: TNA has no brains on its own. They have to go to Tamilselvan
to get his advice. They are going to contest because the LTTE
has given the assurance.  If the TNA is contesting it means the
LTTE is contesting. And with two bullets the LTTE will make sure
the TNA wins. When no one was allowed to vote for the
presidential election, how could we have elections in the north
and east?  It is a mistake.  It should be postponed.  The people
would become more subjugated. If they are allowed to vote
independently then I can understand.

Q: The government is keen to solve the ethnic crisis under
a unitary system.  Do you think this is practicable?

A: First of all I must say that unitary has become an allergy to
everybody. United is a good term and we would be united. Unitary
system would never work. For the last so many years we have
been having this problem.

Q: The Tamils also say they want a united system with a
federal framework. Do you agree?

A: I fully agree. This is the only solution that we could see.

Q: Do you intend contesting the local authority elections?

A: No. With two bullets the LTTE would drive away the democrats.

[Courtesy: SundayLeader]