Finland to withdraw truce monitors from Sri Lanka
[TamilNet, Friday, 28 July 2006, 09:27 GMT]
Finland has decided to withdraw it's members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) from Sri Lanka. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), recently reiterated their stand that the formal process of ceasefire monitoring required a scrupulous commitment to neutrality in Sri Lanka's conflict, which was compromised by the EU ban and responded to Norway's initial request of 6 months to replace monitors within a shorter time frame, and later extended the time frame for two months, till September 01. The Norwegian Special Envoy Jon-Hanssen Bauer is sheduled to visit Sri Lanka to discuss the process forward.
The SLMM has told BBC Friday that Finland's 12 monitors will leave the island before September 01.
Informed circles in Colombo further revealed that Denmark and Finland have already stopped sending replacements for SLMM officials who have completed their terms.
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), also responded "affirmative" to a five-question query by the Norwegian facilitators, who are responsible for the SLMM which is coordinated, facilitated and led by the Royal Norwegian Government.
However, the GoSL later said that it opposed the move to replace SLMM monitors from the EU Member States.
The LTTE has encouraged the participation of nordic countries that are not Member States of the EU.