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Replace EU truce monitors, says LTTE

Tigers say, EU lost the neutrality after it listed LTTE as a terrorist organisation, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 18:04 IST

The LTTE has told the Norwegian peace brokers categorically, that it will not be able to accept truce monitors from the European Union (EU) countries because the group has lost the required neutrality after it listed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

This was conveyed to the Norwegian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Hans Brattskar, by the head of the Political Wing of the LTTE, SP Tamilselvan, at a meeting in Kilinochchi on Wednesday.

The EU countries in question are Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The Norwegian Ambassador had requested the LTTE to give his government more time to find replacements, because the number involved was large.

Thirty-seven out of a total of 57 members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) are from these three countries.

But Tamilselvan said that it was difficult for the LTTE to wait for a long period.

He pointed out that before the EU imposed the ban (on May 30) the LTTE had warned that a ban would disturb the neutrality of personnel from the EU countries.

But unfortunately, the EU believed in the propaganda of the Sri Lankan government and banned the LTTE, he said.

Tamilselvan told the media later that Norway was under a compulsion to change the monitors.

As per the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 2002, both the parties to the conflict would have to agree to the change in the membership of the SLMM.

This poses another problem for the Norwegians.

On its part, the Sri Lankan government feels that there is no need to change the monitors because it is in agreement with the EU's action against the LTTE.

But Brattskar does not have much time to do the needful.

Tamilselvan had warned him that given the atrocities being committed by the Sri Lankan government forces there was a limit to the LTTE's patience.

" We will be forced to intensify our defensive actions against the undeclared war being conducted by the Sri Lankan Army," Tamilselvan said.

India should recognise Tamil struggle

Tamilselvan further said that it was time India recognized the Sri Lankan Tamils' struggle for rights and extended its moral support to that struggle.

He said that Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera's visit to India on Thursday had the aim of creating confusion in the minds of policy makers in New Delhi.