LTTE denies accusations of truce violations

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 March 2002, 11:54 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Monday denied categorically the accusations levelled against the organisation that it is involved in activities that could jeopardise the permanent truce reached between the Sri Lankan government and itself and which came into effect on February 22.

Mr. Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator and a senior leader of the LTTE, commenting on the press statement released by the United States’ Embassy in Colombo told TamilNet that the LTTE leadership has issued strict instructions to all its cadres in the North East to strictly observe the terms, conditions, ground rules and other modalities enunciated in the ceasefire agreement.

“Those [LTTE] members who are found guilty of violating the ceasefire will be severely punished,” Mr. Balasingham said.

Expressing reservations over the reports the US embassy claimed “credible,” Mr. Balasingham explained that elements and forces seeking to subvert the peace process are engaged in criminal activities in the name of the LTTE in bid to discredit the organisation.

“We wish to assure the US government that the LTTE is sincerely and seriously committed to peace and to a peace process aimed at a negotiated political settlement,” Mr. Balasingham said.

“We are surprised and dismayed that the US Embassy has thought it a proper protocol to issue a critical statement on ceasefire violations at this critical time when an international team of monitors are assuming responsibilities to supervise the agreement,” he said.

“Yet, we are encouraged by the fact the US government is seriously concerned about the establishment of peace and stability in the island and had appealed to both parties in conflict to observe the terms of the accord,” Mr. Balasingham said.

 

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