New Tamil group opposes war, violence
From Neville de Silva in London
A new Tamil organisation, Tamil Forum for Peace (TFfP) has announced the launch of a campaign against war and the escalation of violence in Sri Lanka.
The organisation is due to begin its camapaign with a meeting in London, one day after Sri Lanka's independence anniversary.

The TFfP says its aims are to campaign for peace and a viable democratic political solution in Sri Lanka with justice and human rights. Its formation has been prompted by the rapid deteriorating security situation and the impending war. It expressly wishes to give voice to those sections of the Tamil diaspora which are opposed to the escalation of armed conflict, armed violence against civilians, political killings, forced child soldier conscriptions, torture, detention and disappearances.

“The Forum urges the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE to resume peace talks with a serious intent of achieving a permanent political solution,” it said.
Meanwhile the pan-European Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC), though welcoming the Norwegian efforts to move forward the peace process has expressed serious concerns over LTTE frontliner Anton Balasingham's participation in any new negotiations.

He is considered a major impediment to peace as his efforts representing the LTTE since the Thimpu peace talks have proved an obstacle to achieving peace, the TDC said.

“His speech at the LTTE's annual Heroes' Day celebrations recently confirms his inability to consider matters seriously. We wish to assert that Mr. Balasingham does not have the mandate to discuss on behalf of the cross section of the Tamil people and his engagement must be limited to represent the LTTE to relieve the current impasse in furthering peace efforts,” it said.

The TDC said that the LTTE must give “substantial commitment that it will not use terror as its means to achieve an objective during peace time. The LTTE during peace time has imposed its will by violent and coercive means and two members of the TDC were victims of LTTE highhandedness and excesses in the Wanni recently”.

The Congress said that the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary candidates’ participation must form part of the LTTE in any peace talks as they do not have the moral authority to represent the Tamils independently.

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