2ND LEAD

LTTE has no rights at sea - SLMM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 May 2006, 13:02 GMT]
Following the escalating violence in the sea Thursday, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said that the "sea surrounding Sri Lanka is a Government Controlled area. Non-state actors cannot rule open sea waters or airspace. The LTTE has therefore no rights at sea." Meanwhile, the Tigers have repeatedly urged the truce monitors to stay away from the Sri Lankan Navy vessels during the past few weeks, LTTE sources in Kilinochchi said.

Meanwhile, LTTE sources in Kilinochchi said that the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was scheduled to meet with the LTTE leadership to discuss the crisis.

The SLMM press release follows:

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 sea surrounding the 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 LTTE has made, what the SLMM feels are threats to our monitors warning them not to participate in partrols in Navy vessels. The SLMM takes these threats very seriously and 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's safety.

We therefore demand that the LTTE immediately ceases all activities and operations at sea as they are a serious violation of the CFA. This sort of reckless behaviour can only lead to a dangerous escalation resulting in growing hostilities and jeopardising any possibility for future peace talks.

We would also like to urge the Government of Sri Lanka not to be pushed by these provocative acts and to show as much restraint as possible.

 

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