LTTE slams "grave" truce breach by Navy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 May 2002, 10:19 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Sunday accused the Sri Lankan Navy of a “grave and serious violation” of the indefinite ceasefire when gunboats destroyed several civilian fishing vessels and killed two Muslim fishermen in the seas near Vaharai, Batticaloa on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan Navy is “deliberately creating conflictual situations to disrupt the peace process,” the LTTE said. “We call upon the Sri Lanka government to prevail upon the naval authorities to abandon its hostile attitude and strictly follow the peace agreement,” the Tigers said in a statement.

The full text of the statement follows:

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Kilinochchi, northern Sri Lanka today accused the government's Navy of a grave and serious violation of the cease-fire agreement when it destroyed several civilian fishing vessels and killed two Muslim fishermen in the seas near Vaharai, Batticaloa on the 1 May 2002.

"Thirty-six fishermen, Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese swam to safety after the most outrageous assault by naval gunboats which fired rockets indiscriminately and sank several fishing trawlers. This is the latest of a series of hostile and provocative actions unleashed by the Sri Lankan Navy in recent weeks. Such violent by the Navy personnel, we strongly suspect, is intended to breach truce agreement," the LTTE's statement declared.

"The central objective of the cease-fire agreement is to create an atmosphere of peace, normalcy and goodwill in the war affected Northeast to pave the way for political negotiations. The truce agreement also strictly forbids all hostile military actions on land, air and seas. Violating the terms and conditions as well as the spirit of the agreement the Sri Lankan Navy is deliberately creating conflictual situations to disrupt the peace process. We call upon the Sri Lanka government to prevail upon the naval authorities to abandon its hostile attitude and strictly follow the terms and conditions of the peace agreement," the statement said.

The Tamil Tigers also categorically rejected the charge by the Sri Lankan Navy that the fishing trawlers were involved in arms smuggling. "This is a ludicrous lie fabricated by the naval authorities to justify their atrocities against innocent fishermen," the statement pointed out.

The LTTE's statement further said that the naval incident was brought to the attention of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission.

 

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