2ND LEAD

Aerial bombardment tantamounts to undeclared war, says Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 10:17 GMT]
S. P. Thamilchelvan, the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Wednesday said the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) was yet to respond to LTTE's warning that the provocative air attacks, if continued, would be retaliated. "Aerial bombardment is interpreted as undeclared war on the Tamil nation," he told media after concluding a meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar, clarifying the LTTE's response to Norway's five questions. "Colombo, obsessed with going to war with the Tamil Nation, has already begun to impose economic blockade on the Tamil homeland," LTTE's Political Head told media.

Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan
Political Head of the LTTE S. P. Thamilchelvan
The Liberation Tigers, in response to Norway's questions, said they would be providing diplomatic immunity and protection to the SLMM monitors, and have urged that SLMM be formed of members from countries that are absolutely neutral to both the parties to the conflict.

"The LTTE, as it has stated in Oslo earlier this month, is of the view that the ceasefire monitors must be absolutely impartial and neutral towards the two parties to the conflict, as at the time of entering the CFA in February 2002," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.



He did not elaborate on the details of the LTTE's response to the five questions posed by Norway on June 08.

The question, "Do the parties want the continued existence and operation of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission as a mission coordinated, facilitated and led by the Royal Norwegian Government with diplomatic immunity to ensure its impartial operation?" according to diplomatic circles, has irked Colombo, which rejected Tigers' right to provide diplomaitc immunity to the Ceasefire monitors.

By rejecting the parity of status, Colombo was pushing the Tigers to provoke a war, diplomatic circles in Colombo said.

"Aerial bombardment by Colombo, under the pretext of limited response, is aimed at provoking the Tiger leadership," a diplomat said.

The Norwegian facilitators have also asked the parties, the GoSL and the LTTE, whether they are able to provide full security guarantees for all monitors, employees and physical assets of the SLMM in all situations, in accordance with the CFA Article 3.9.

Article 3.9 of the CFA states that the "parties shall be responsible for the appropriate protection of and security arrangements for all SLMM members."

Although both the parties have guranteed the security of the SLMM monitors, the security issue of the SLMM monitors has become a serious concern as paramilitary and SLA Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) attacks escalated in both the LTTE controlled and SLA controlled areas.

Norway has also asked whether the parties were prepared to make amendments to Article 3.5.

Article 3.5 of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) signed between the parties, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE in February 2002, states that the "SLMM shall be composed of representatives from Nordic countries."

Norway and Iceland are the two Nordic countries that are not affected by the EU proscription on the Tigers.

The Director of the Oslo based Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Stein Tønnesson, on June 10, told AFP that the EU decision was "taken on the basis of certain criteria about which organisations should be on the list, without taking into consideration the adverse consequences the decision might have for their own member states."

Vice President of Danish Peace Council, Lave K. Broch, recently asked to comment the situation of EU Member States and the Nordic countries involvment in monitoring the CFA, told TamilNet that the "EU proscription of the LTTE was not promoting peace," and said he urged Denmark to "follow Norway and not European Union," in this question.


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