War unavoidable if Norway suspends monitoring function - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 June 2006, 10:52 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P.Thamilchelvan, when asked what LTTE's reaction would be, if Norway, on 29 June, chose to suspend the monitoring role, responded that a such decision would signal an end to the already fragile ceasefire and plunge the island into war. Mr. Thamilchelvan further said that the Tigers responding to the questions posed by the facilitator Norway, had replied that they were fully prepared to continue providing diplomatic immunity to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) as a mission coordinated, facilitated and led by the Royal Norwegian Government.

Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan
Political Head of the LTTE S. P. Thamilchelvan
The LTTE Political Head said that the transition period of six months to replace the monitors from EU Member States, as initially suggested by Norway, was too long considering LTTE's desire to sustain an "absolute neutral" composition of the SLMM.

However, the Tigers have agreed that they were prepared to extend their initial suggestion of one month transition period, taking into account the practical difficulties, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

Asked if LTTE had conveyed the consequences of SLMM composition prior to the EU ban, he said that the LTTE had repeatedly conveyed their reservations in advance to the Norwegian facilitators. "The EU countries were well aware that LTTE will not welcome members of EU as part of the SLMM after the ban," Thamilchelvan said.

Colombo has been changing their stand every day after they responded with "affirmative" answer to all five questions posed by Norway, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

"Today, they have again changed their stand. The Sri Lankan government is now saying Norway cannot go ahead with the changes in the composition of the SLMM," Mr. Thamilchelvan said adding that the LTTE observed with patience and tolerance when Sri Lankan Government wanted to change a previous SLMM head.

"Recognition of the concept of Tamil Homeland is a pre-requisite for any successful engagement between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that can lead towards peace. Therefore, the Government of Sri Lanka and not the LTTE that needed to change first, the LTTE Political Head said.

"When the Southern polity recognizes the concept of homeland and is prepared to recognize the sovereign rights of our people, allowing us to chart our own political destiny, just peace will prevail and the whole island would benefit," Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

 

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