LTTE claims sovereignty over land, sea, air

The Tamil Tigers have claimed sovereignty over the land, sea and air in North and East of Sri Lanka, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 20:10 IST

The LTTE has claimed sovereignty over the land, sea and air in that part of the Sri Lankan North and East, which it controls de facto.

"Nobody has the right to pass judgement on the sovereign rights of ouraccess to the adjacent sea and airspace of our homelands," the head of the LTTE's political wing, SP Tamilselvan, told Maj Gen Ulf Ericsson, the head of the Nordic truce monitors, when the latter met him in Kilinochchi on Friday.

Henriccson had rushed to Kilinochchi after two sea battles and an air strike on Thursday left 67 Sri Lankan navy men and LTTE Sea tiger cadres dead.

A Sri Lankan troop ship with 710 men on board had narrowly escaped being sunk by the LTTE off the Point Pedro coast in the north.

The LTTE had brazenly challenged the Sri Lankan government's sovereign rights over the sea around the island country, and attacked Sri Lankan naval craft even though these had international truce monitors on board.

The truce monitors had supported the government's stand on its sovereign rights, because it accorded with international law.

LTTE says it is not a "non-state actor"

Tamilselvan said that the LTTE did not enter the peace process to be described as a "non-state actor" and the Sri Lankan government as the "state actor".

"The CFA (Ceasefire Agreement) and the entire peace process is between two parties. It is not based on LTTE as a non-state actor and GOSL (government of Sri Lanka) as a state actor."

"The CFA was entered into with the GOSL and the LTTE having a military with an Army, Navy and Air-wing."

"The party, LTTE, has been effectively running a civil administration in the liberated areas consisting 60 to 70 per cent of the entire homeland."

"There are necessary infrastructures for the civil administration, policing, judiciary. There are humanitarian bodies."

" The whole world has witnessed the efficiency of our infrastructure and civil administration."

"You don't attempt to classify us as a non-state actor," Tamiselvan told Henricsson, emphatically.

First Published: May 12, 2006 19:10 IST