SLMM rules Sea Tiger convoy did not breach truce
[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 May 2002, 17:01 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has informed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership that it does not consider the sailing of a Sea Tiger convoy which was intercepted and challenged by Sri Lankan navy gunboats near Trincomalee seas Wednesday last week as a breach of the indefinite ceasefire agreement.
The head of the SLMM, General Tronde Furuhovde, in a letter to the LTTE headquarters in Kilinochchi regretted over the incident, acknowledging it was a mistake by the SLMM for not communicating in writing to the Sri Lankan naval authorities about the planned movement of the Sea Tiger boats in the eastern waters.
General Furuhovde revealed that the matter had been passed orally and there had been confusion in communications.
The LTTE leadership had expressed its deep displeasure over the incident since a major confrontation could have resulted from the tense situation created when the Sri Lankan naval flotilla challenged the Sea Tiger convoy.
LTTE sources in the Vanni told TamilNet Thursday the LTTE had provided all requisite details about the movement of senior LTTE commanders and cadres who were returning to the eastern province following crucial meetings in Vanni with the LTTE leadership. A similar procedure had been adopted when they travelled to the Vanni ahead of the meetings, the sources said.
The LTTE has also requested the Norwegian facilitators to issue an official statement to the media to clarify the matter since Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga had taken the incident seriously, accusing the LTTE of violating the indefinite ceasefire agreement.