The LTTE has denounced the government`s plan for devolution under which local government elections and the first election to the Eastern Provincial Council were held recently, emphasizing that Tamil sovereignty and right to self-determination were key issues for a negotiated settlement.
Vowing to continue fighting for a separate state, LTTE political head B. Nadesan has told Tamilnet that the 13th Amendment providing for separate Provincial Councils in the East and North wouldn t be acceptable.
Meanwhile Army Chief Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said his troops were on the offensive in the north and they would soon crush remaining LTTE fighting formations holed up in the Vanni. Fonseka said the offensive was on track and he was satisfied with the progress on the Vanni and Welioya fronts. He said the LTTE was not in a position to reverse the situation. In fact, they were in a desperate position, he said.
The website report posted on Friday quoted the former policeman as saying, `Sri Lankan Tamils have rejected the 13th Amendment. In the last 21-years of its introduction, neither Tamils nor Sinhalese have shown any enthusiasm towards the 13th amendment.` Nadesan emphasized that Tamil sovereignty and right to self-determination were key issues in creating a climate for a negotiated settlement.
`How can one consider it as a basis for settlement when it has been proven that people have no interest in it?,` Nadesan told Tamilnet.
India has endorsed Sri Lanka`s policy of implementation of the 13th Amendment under which Provincial Council elections for the East took place on May 10, paving the way for the breakaway LTTE faction, the TMVP which contested on the government ticket to take control of the EPC.
Experience had convinced the `Tamils to decide on a separate state and to fight for it,` he stressed. `As this has been the logical end for situations similar to that of the Tamils, in different parts of the contemporary world, it is a puzzle what makes it different only in the case of the Eelam Tamils,` he said
Nadesan has reiterated their call for international intervention.`Development is possible only when there is permanent peace. To achieve peace, the international community should restore the status quo which it had disturbed in recent times. He urged the international community to pressure the government to come to terms with a negotiated settlement.
Accusing the government of not providing access to Norwegian facilitators to visit Vanni to meet with LTTE representatives, Nadesan said the LTTE had requested the Royal Norwegian Government to continue the facilitation. He claimed the government ignored a request by Co-Chairs to the peace process, the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Norway to provide the facilitator access to Kilinochchi. `Norwegian Special Envoy and the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka have expressed their desire to have dialogue, `he said.