Norway, Iceland to continue Monitoring Mission - Bauer
[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 August 2006, 12:08 GMT]
"Norway and Iceland are prepared to continue to secure the existence of SLMM after the 1st of September," said Norwegian Special Envoy Jon-Hanssen Bauer, addressing media in Kilinochchi, after meeting the Liberation Tigers Political Head S. P. Thamilchelvan Sunday. Mr. Jon-Hanssen Bauer expressed appreciation to the Liberation Tigers for accepting Norwegian call for re-opening the sluice gate tp de-escalate hostilities. "We hope that the violence will be stopped as soon as absolutely possible. It is paramount now to restore the situation and to try to get out of this violence and escalation of the situation," he told reporters in Kilinochchi after his meeting with the LTTE political head.
"We have taken upon ourselves to try to establish a local committee in the Maavilaru area to look into their needs involving the people there and see how we can ensure their needs are met," Bauer told the reporters.
"Norwegian government is very concerned for the future," Hanssen Bauer told reporters adding that the facilitators were concerned with regards to the decision by the LTTE on discontinuing the Nordic EU Member States as part of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.
"We have been urging the LTTE to reconsider their decision regarding EU Member states."
"They [LTTE] have communicated to us the decision [regarding EU Member states in SLMM] is firm. We have to take note of that."
"Also, Finland, Sweden and Denmark have made it public that they want to withdraw their monitors due to security concerns."
"We have the re-assurances from the LTTE and the government. Both sides really wanted the SLMM to continue. That means they are committed to the Ceasefire Agreement. We have therefore told both the parties that Norway and Iceland will be continuing to secure the SLMM after the 01st of September."
"On the other hand, the size of the SLMM will be reduced after the 1st of September and we will continue to work on the possibilities of including other monitors in order to rebuild the SLMM. It will take some time."