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Last updated: 02 January, 2008 - Published 16:11 GMT
 
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Sri Lanka 'withdraws' from CFA
 
The Sri Lankan government decided to withdraw from the CFA signed with the LTTE, minister Keheliya Rambukwella told BBC Sandeshaya.

The Government decided to take 'measures to protect national security', the Defence spokesman said.

Asked whether the withdrawal means the government is officially declaring war against the LTTE, the minister replied: "No".

"But we are concerned about the national security."

The full interview is followed:

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella:

What we decided is taking into ground realities, while it (CFA) had been violated nearly 10,000 times by the LTTE, we should annul this agreement. This agreement was signed in order to seek whether there could be a peaceful arrangement which does not come on our way.

Besides that national security is threatened at every corner. And everyday it is threatened so it is not very relevant so we are not in a position to hold onto it and therefore it cannot be one sided affair. More than anything else whenever the national security is threatened we do not take any other agreement into consideration because the foremost thing in the country is to uphold the national security so we have made our decision today and it will be put into practise after following the conditions that are laid out in a manner in which you can withdraw from that agreement.

Q: Does this mean the government is formally declaring war against the LTTE?

A: No. but we are concerned about the national security.

Q: What about the SLMM?

A: These are the things that will follow on this. It will be done according to whatever the protocolas that are available to us.

Q: Is the government giving two weeks notice as agreed in the CFA?

A: The procedures will be practised.

 
 
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