The Eelam People`s Democratic Party leader and Minister of Social Services Douglas Devananda in a statement to mark the completion of twenty years of signing the Indo-Lanka accord said that the doors for peace talks were closed as the LTTE was coming out with meaningless conditions during the peace talks held so far.
It was a golden opportunity missed by the Tamils in fulfilling their political aspirations due to the war waged by the LTTE against the Indians. The following is the text of the statement by the EPDP leader:-
`Twenty years have elapsed since a streak of light brought hope into the lives of the Tamil-speaking people. The Indo-Sri Lanka agreement was that streak of light. We could have achieved our political target easily if we had handled the situation with responsibility or made use of the opportunity.
It was a golden opportunity missed by the Tamils because the LTTE launched a war against the IPKF without any far-sightedness and the failure of some Tamil leadership to form a united democratic front and use the pact correctly. The failure to make use of the golden opportunity wisely, paved the way for the loss of thousands of lives, ruined the resources of our land and the people were displaced and are still leading their lives in refugee camps.
The racists were behind the failure of the Dudley-Chelva and Banda-Chelva agreements, which were political solutions agreed upon by the then leaders to end the ethnic conflict during their period in power.
But, to date it is the war seeking Tamils and the irresponsible Tamil leaders, who are responsible for the failure of the Indo - Sri Lanka agreement and all other peace efforts for a reasonable solution.
Even after the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, there were favourable opportunities for peace negotiations with the governments of Premadasa, Chandrika, Ranil, and the present government and the LTTE.
But the doors for peace talks were closed, as the war seeking LTTE, while engaging in negotiations would lay meaningless conditions. Now, the present Government is trying to find a solution through the All Party Conference.
The EPDP is working hard to redeem the people from the dark era, by continuously working towards a political target by giving life to the Provincial Council based on the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord and give the people a bright future.
If we fail to learn from our past mistakes and do not try to change our ways, there would be more destruction in the next 20 years and nothing would be left for us in this country.
Hence the EPDP calls on all the civil communities, political leaderships and all other democratic powers, which are concerned about the political rights and freedom of the Tamil-speaking people to come forward to bring an end to this destruction.
We hope that India will not keep in mind the enmity created by the unwise act of the single group, the LTTE leadership. The problems of the Tamils are different from the problems of the LTTE leadership. The EPDP would like to appeal to India on humanitarian grounds, to take into consideration only the grievances of the Tamil speaking people and help them find a solution to get back their political rights and freedom.