Sri Lanka opposition says truce was dead letter

Jan 03, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition, whose leader signed a truce with the Tamil Tigers in 2002, says a government decision to abrogate the deal is not a problem for the party. “The decision is not a problem for us,” United National Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said.

“It was drafted during different circumstances. The agreement was a dead letter anyway (miyagiya liyawillak)”

The government Wednesday announced it had decided to formally end the moribund peace process with the Tamil Tigers and withdraw from a ceasefire arranged by peace broker Norway.

Both sides have to give two weeks’ written notice to Norway if they want to withdraw from the truce but the agreement never succeeded in ending violence completely.

The government’s withdrawal from the truce meets one of the key demands of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP People’s Liberation Front), whose decision to abstain from voting in parliament last November helped pass the 2008 budget.

The government has a thin majority in parliament and there were fears that it would be toppled if it failed to get the budget passed by parliament.

The government’s decision to withdraw f