LTTE writes to ICRC: Humanitarian supplies through demarcated landroutes
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 07:55 GMT]
S. P. Thamilchelvan, the political head of the Liberation Tigers, in a letter addressed to the ICRC Head of Delegation in Sri Lanka, Toon Vandenhove, Tuesday reiterated that the LTTE pledge to stop all retaliatory fire during the land passage of, humanitarian supply convoys, ambulances, and employees of non-governmental organizations. The Ceasefire agreement (CFA), does not have specific articles about demarcation lines in sea, the letter said. "This issue [of demarcation] remains unresolved to this day. Under these circumstances it is not possible for us to provide protection to ICRC sponsored ship using the seas."
Full text of the letter follows:
As you are well aware, 500,000 civilians have been trapped inside the Jaffna peninsula for one month. There plight have been highlighted by many people including your organization and the Government Agent of Jaffna. The LTTE raised our concerns with you and wrote to you regarding this on 31 August 2006. We again appeal to you to take this issue up with great urgency.
The LTTE is fully committed to the articles of the Geneva Convention and the customary international laws that are applicable to non-international conflicts which have referred to. Please allow us to bring to your notice that the LTTE has always abided by these articles and customary laws. LTTE remains committed to them in the future.
We also wish to repeat here what we have already said in our earlier letter to you. The LTTE will give its pledge to stop all retaliatory fire during the land passage of, humanitarian supply convoys, ambulances, and employees of non-governmental organizations. We also assure protection and passage through standard procedures, for vehicles and travelers of these categories, through the A9 road in the areas under our administration.
Rather than take up this option, you have requested our authorization for the sea transport of essential items. Allow us to register our position and concerns about such a project. The Ceasefire agreement (CFA), signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, does not have specific articles about demarcation lines in sea. Indeed, early problems with the ceasefire agreement were mainly about the sea access. This issue remains unresolved to this day. Under these circumstances it is not possible for us to provide protection to ICRC sponsored ship using these seas.
On the other hand, the land areas are demarcated in the CFA and we are in a position to ensure the safety of the ICRC sponsored vehicles while passing through the land areas in our control.