Tamil Tigers again says 'no' to EU truce monitors
The LTTE's stand was announced by political commissar Tamilselvan after a meeting with Swedish special envoy, reports PK Balachandran.india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 12:51 IST
The LTTE has told the Swedish special envoy, Andres Oljelund, that there is no change in its stand that the truce monitoring mission in Sri Lanka cannot have members from the European Union (EU) countries as the EU had lost its neutrality after it banned the LTTE.
Oljelund had met the LTTE's political commissar SP Tamilselvan in Kilinochchi on Friday in an effort to make the LTTE to change its mind on the issue.
The LTTE's stand was announced to the media by Tamilselvan after the meeting with the Swedish special envoy.
The LTTE had given the Norwegian facilitators time until September 1 to find monitors from non-EU Nordic countries.
The Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) concluded in February 2002, says that the truce monitors must come from the Scandinavian countries.
But most of these countries are in the EU. Only Norway and Iceland are not.
Given the LTTE's boycott of EU countries, the Norwegians had had to find 37 new truce monitors from Norway and Iceland.
But Norway is the mediator also. It is embarrassing to be both peace broker and truce monitor at the same time.
The LTTE had given one month's time for getting new monitors. The Norwegians asked for more time. But the LTTE would not go beyond September 1.
The Sri Lankan government has been saying that Norway and LTTE between themselves cannot change the composition of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) because the SLMM was set up as a result of a bilateral agreement between the Norwegian and the Sri Lankan governments.
Only Oslo and Colombo can change the membership.
However, to keep the peace process going, the Sri Lankan government has allowed the Norwegians to negotiate with the LTTE on this issue.
It was in this context that the Norwegians had sent the Swedish envoy to meet the LTTE in Kilinochchi.