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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2400

Col. Soosai joins the chorus: We are not prepared to relinquish sovereign rights to the seas

Colombo, 13 May, ( Colonel Soosai, Special Commander of the Sea Tigers categorically stated that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam “is not prepared to relinquish sovereign rights to the seas which we have won with the sacrifice of our people."

In an interview with the media he has clearly emphasized that “We have openly established our control, and have unequivocally asserted our rights to maritime waters adjoining our homeland, in the same way we recovered and control large areas of northeast.”

Colonel Ssosai was in a combative mood when he responded to the questions of the media persons after the confrontation with the Sri Lanka Navy in the seas off the northeastern cost of Jaffna.

He joins S.P.Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who made it known to the Head of the Scandinavian truce monitors on Friday “We entered the peace process based on a status-quo achieved in the battlefield in our territory. Nobody has the right to pass judgment on the sovereign rights of our access to the adjacent sea and airspace of our homeland,"

Tamilselvan categorically pointed out LTTE did not enter the negotiations to be passed judgments based on classifications such as non-state actor. He explained according to their contention, “The CFA and the entire peace process is between two parties, it is not based on LTTE as a non-state actor and GoSL as a state actor."

"The CFA was entered with the GoSL and the LTTE having a military with an Army, Naval force, and Air-wing. The party, LTTE, has been effectively running a civil administration in the liberated areas consisting 60 to70 percent of the entire homeland. There are necessary infra-structures for the civil administration, policing, judiciary. There are humanitarian bodies. The whole world has witnessed the efficiency of our infra-structure and civil administration," Mr. Tamilselvan elaborated.

"You don't attempt to classify us as a non-state actor," he told Ulf Henricssen Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission who discussed in depth yesterday the security concerns of the truce monitors with the Liberation Tigers.

Later Colonel Ssosai one of the senior most leaders of the LTTE said “Today, the long stretch of northern seas extending from Nagarkovil to Kokkuththoduvai is under the control of Liberation Tigers. After we evicted the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) from the Mullaitivu garrison, our control of northern seas has expanded and strengthened. “

He declared that LTTE “will not hesitate to wage war with anyone who attempts to prevent us from exercising our freedom. "
On the legality of claim to sovereignty at sea, Soosai said: "Some say that International laws do not permit parties "without a legal state" to own a naval force in seas of a sovereign state. We have one thing to say to them. Every square-inch of land we control, and all infrastructure and areas we administer, were not given to us. We obtained these by force from our adversary. “

"More than 1200 sea-tigers sacrificed their lives during the last 15 years of struggle over maritime waters. We have now evolved into a formidable naval force commanding control over the northeastern seas. The price we have paid to earn our sovereign rights to waters is immeasurable. “

- Asian Tribune -

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