Sunday Observer
Oomph! - Sunday Observer MagazineJunior Observer
Sunday, 7 November 2004  
The widest coverage in Sri Lanka.











Mihintalava - The Birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhist Civilization

Silumina  on-line Edition

Govt. - LTTE Ceasefire Agreement

Government - Gazette

Daily News

Budusarana On-line Edition

TNA happy Indo-Lanka Defence Agreement delayed

by Rashomi Silva

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday sounded upbeat the proposed Defence Agreement between the Sri Lankan and Indian governments would not be signed at this juncture due to the severe opposition from Tamil polity here and abroad, whilst the Defence Secretariat claiming they were not aware of any move to reverse the decision of signing the agreement.

TNA legislator Joseph Pararajasingham told, they view the pact as a 'killer' of what he termed as 'the power balance between' the government and the LTTE at the negotiating table.

"Why we want to worry when the pact will not be signed?" he questioned, when he was asked to express his party stance on the proposed pact.

"As far as the TNA is concerned we see the move to sign an agreement with India as a highly unnecessary, at this point of time where both parties have embarked on a peaceful course to settle the ethnic problem," he said. Both the government and the LTTE sat at the negotiating table as equal partners due to their power balance, he explained.

But once this agreement is signed the power balance would change in favour of the government and the LTTE would not be able to sit at the table as an equal partner, he said. Meanwhile the Defence Secretary Cyril Herath said the secretariat was not aware of any decision by either the Indian or Sri Lankan governments not to go ahead with the pact, but both the Indian and local officials together with military higher-ups here have prepared the final draft.

According to top military sources the pact would address issues on military training, exchange of military information and intelligence between the two countries, joint military exercises and maritime surveillance.

Discussions were held between five-member delegation led by Ranjith Issar, a senior Indian Defence Ministry official and senior officials from the services and Defence and Foreign Ministries here. "Entering into an agreement with our government, is a clear signal India supports to protect the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and that will deprive India's assistance to external or internal forces to undermine sovereignty of the country, a top military official explained.

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