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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

Ceasefire Monitors in an emergency meeting with the Tiger leadership.

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Colombo, 12 May, (Asiantribune.com): Scandinavian ceasefire monitors are holding an emergency meeting with Tiger guerillas to save the fragile ceasefire from immediate collapse after sea Tigers blew up a Sri Lankan Navy gunboat in the worst ever sea battle since the two parties signed the truce agreement.

“The Head of the Mission is in Kilinochchi right now. He will meet the LTTE political chief before the launch time,” a spokesman for the truce monitors told the “Asian Tribune.”

He said the immediate concern for the meeting is the last evening sea battle where the sea Tigers blew up a Navy Dvora Fast Attack Craft and damaged another with 17 sailors in the ill fated Dvora are still missing and presumed dead. Over 50 Sea Tigers were killed in the Navy retaliation.

“We have a number of issues to take up with the LTTE leadership about yesterday’s incident, ‘ the SLMM spokesman said.

Asked whether the Ceasefire Agreement is still intact, and whether Tigers are still respecting the truce agreement, he said the Truce Monitors have not received any intimation on a Tiger withdrawal from the truce.

“So we believe they are with the truce agreement,” he said.

The Ceasefire monitors earlier ruled the Tiger sea movements and the yesterday attack on the Sri Lankan Navy as a “gross violation”.

“The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have committed gross violations of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in recent days by moving at sea with the aim of provoking the Sri Lankan Navy and now finally embarking on an offensive operation against the Navy sinking one vessel and putting SLMM monitors in grave danger,” the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said.

"The sea surrounding Sri Lanka is a Government Controlled Area. This has been ruled so by the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in line with international law. Non-state actors cannot rule open sea waters or airspace. The LTTE has therefore no rights at sea,” the statement added.

The truce monitors also said that the Tigers have threatened the ceasefire monitors t by ordering them not to participate in patrols in Navy vessels, adding that the truce monitors take these threats very seriously.

"The SLMM would like to remind the LTTE of its responsibility as an equal partner to the Ceasefire Agreement to do everything in its power not to jeopardise the monitors’ safety," it said, while demanding an immediate end to the LTTE sea activities.

- Asian Tribune -

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