The time frame to euforce provisions
in the ceasefire agreement came to an end on August 2nd (Friday) which
is D-day plus a hundred and eighty days. No talks have materialized
yet between the signatories. Mr. Balsingham in the meanwhile is said
to have expressed his satisfaction with the ceasefire when he met
Mr. Moragoda in London last week. Naturally, he would, with the LTTE
deriving maximum advantage from what's stipulated in its clauses.
What role have
the Norwegians, on the other hand, played as honest brokers in the
duration of the agreement which was monitored by a Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission with a predominant Norwegian presence? The agreement has
caused vast changes in the East for instance. In many Eastern pockets,
there is more tension among the communities than there used to be
before it came into force. This is the reality for most of the Eastern
province Muslims. They feel almost to a man, woman and child that
they have lost the sense of security they entertained with the Sri
Lankan forces abdicating their authority to protect them. They are
constantly in fear of the LTTE threat aimed at them, their property
and their way of life
of insecurity has been sharpened by a perception that neither the
government nor the Muslim political parties are sensitive to their
predicament. This sense of abandonment has driven the Muslim men
of the East, particularly the youth, to a desperate campaign of
resorting to their own devices.
A nascent Muslim
jihad movement in the East, has been raising funds for armed retaliation
against LTTE threats. There has also been a call, especially to
Islamic Arab states to help the cause of Muslim preservation in
The LTTE has
belatedly been stung by these developments. The organization is
said to be realigning its leadership in the Eastern province, and
presenting a more benign front. But this is thought to be in preparation
for the establishment of an Interim Administration which will essentially
come under LTTE leadership.
to be the rather depressing outcome for some of the communities
which are affected by the terms of the ceasefire agreements which
is now at its fag end. Is this the way out then for all concerned
in this imbroglio - a case of exchanging war for a volatile, tenuous
and insecure peace?
The best manifestation
of the likely predicament of the Muslim leaders, Ferial Ashraff
and Rauff Hakeem is seen on the other hand, from the TNA's Sambandan's
serf-like existence. The TNA is playing quisling to the LTTE, and
the Muslim leadership may soon be relegated to the same status of
footstool for some AK 47 toting cabal of jihadists.
latest intervention on behalf of the LTTE is to ask that the high
security zone in Jaffna be removed by Sri Lankan security forces.
He has conveyed the message that the government should get out of
"Tamil land," and then negotiate with the LTTE if a high
security zone was necessary for future purposes.
of such statements as the Ceasefire Agreement serves out its remaining
days seems to be in the fact that they capture accurately the essence
of the LTTE's future plans which result from the implementation
of the the agreement's clauses. The LTTE is operating from the standpoint
of a quasi state, and any government presence in the North and the
East is portrayed by them as an occupying presence.
led SLMM (Monitoring Mission) has in its latest report while valiantly
trying to keep its job in the face of LTTE cold shouldering, ominously
referred to a "Balance of Power" in these areas of the
Island -- a balance of power between two equal Partners, the Government
and the LTTE.
It seems the
Ceasefire Agreement has done its job well as far as the LTTE is
concerned. And so-what next?