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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Norway urges LTTE to reopen the water supply immediately

Oslo, 03 August, (Asiantribune.com):Erik Solheim, Minister for International Development and Sri Lanka’s peace facilitator, has emphasized that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must reopen the water supply to prevent further civilian suffering and damage to crops.Erik Solheim: "The LTTE must reopen the water supply to prevent further civilian suffering and damage to crops."Erik Solheim: "The LTTE must reopen the water supply to prevent further civilian suffering and damage to crops."

He has also appealed to both parties’ – Government of Sri Lanka as well as the LTTE to withdraw their respective armed forces to the positions they held when they entered into the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002.

Norway’s statement has come at the backdrop where Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE are involved in a pitched battle over of Mavilaru anicut.

In the statement Erik Solheim has said “Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer is to make a pre-scheduled visit to Sri Lanka on 3 August (Thursday) despite the outbreak of hostilities.”

When referring to the plight of the truce monitors of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, Erik Solheim has said, “I am sending Hanssen-Bauer to Sri Lanka to discuss the future of the SLMM with both parties.”

The full text of the statement follows:

Norway urges immediate cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka

During the past few days, the parties to the Sri Lanka Ceasefire Agreement - the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have engaged in intensive military operations following the LTTE’s closure of the water supply from the LTTE-controlled area to the government-controlled area. The situation is deadlocked and could easily lead to an escalation of the armed conflict. The hostilities violate the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement.

Norway urges the immediate cessation of hostilities on both sides in order to pave the way for negotiations aimed at resolving the water dispute. The LTTE must reopen the water supply to prevent further civilian suffering and damage to crops, and both parties’ military forces must withdraw to the positions they held when they entered into the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002,” said Minister of International Development Erik Solheim.

The escalation of the conflict coincides with the deterioration of the situation of the civilian Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). The LTTE has refused to cooperate with Danish, Finish and Swedish monitors since the EU included the LTTE in its list of terror groups earlier this year. On 3 August Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer will make a long-planned visit to Sri Lanka for talks with the parties.

“I am sending Hanssen-Bauer to Sri Lanka to discuss the future of the SLMM with both parties. The SLMM monitors from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway have done and are doing a great job in these difficult times. Their efforts have undoubtedly been decisive in getting the parties to respect the Ceasefire Agreement,” said Mr Solheim.

- Asian Tribune -

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