4000 killed in 15 months - SLMM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 February 2007, 09:54 GMT]
Nearly 4000 people have lost their lives during the past 15 months in contrast to less than 130 deaths during the first 3 years following the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) of 22 February 2002, between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the truce monitors said Thursday in a statement marking the fifth year of the signing of the CFA between the GoSL and the LTTE.

The statement reiterated the mandate of the SLMM and said it stood committed to the Parties, as a neutral part, with the aim of finding ways to continue its contribution according to the mandate.

Full text of the statement issued by the SLMM follows:

CFA 5 years

Nearly 4000 people have lost their lives in incidents connected to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka during the past 15 months. A large number of persons have been seriously injured, and thousands of families have been fleeing from areas of fighting. In contrast, during the three previous years less than 130 deaths related to the conflict were recorded.

In the pursuit of a negotiated solution to the conflict, the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed a Ceasefire Agreement on 22 February 2002. The Parties committed themselves to refrain from conduct that would undermine the spirit of the agreement.

At the same time, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was set up;
- to inquire into and report on violations of the CFA
- to assist the Parties with implementing the clauses stipulated in the CFA
- to serve as a means of communication between the Parties

Following the Agreement, a considerable reduction of violence was reached, particularly welcomed by the families in the North and the East who had lived for two decades in areas ravaged by war. At the time of the five-year milestone, however; abductions, harassments, killings, shelling and air strikes are taking place at a war like level.

In spite of the ongoing conflict, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission remains committed to the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as a neutral part, seeking continuously to develop a deep understanding of the conflict situation, with the sincere aim of finding ways to continue its contribution according to the mandate.


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