SLMM head holds talks with senior LTTE leaders

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 March 2003, 17:35 GMT]
The new head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Mr.Triggve Teleffsen Wednesday arrived in Killinochchi to hold discussions with senior leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) regarding the attack by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on a LTTE merchant vessel off Mullaitivu Monday, sources in Vanni said. The LTTE had earlier condemned the attack as "a grave violation of the ceasefire agreement,” and warned that “this grave incident will have far reaching implications for the peace process.”

Mr.Triggve Teleffsen held discussions with the Defence Minister Mr. Tilak Marapane, Defence Ministry Secretary Mr. Austin Fernando and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy over the Mullaitivu incident before leaving to Killinochchi, sources in Colombo said.

The LTTE said eleven of its senior cadres perished when one of its merchant vessel was sunk in the international waters off the northeast cost following an attack by the Sri Lanka Navy. The vessel caught fire and sank quickly, leading to the speculation that the vessel was carrying fuel.

Meanwhile, the head of the SLMM in Trincomalee Mr. Jan Ledang said the first official visit of the new head of SLMM Mr.Triggve Teleffsen to the east port town scheduled for Thursday has now been postponed and was preempted by the need for his urgent visit to Killinochchi to meet the leaders of the LTTE.

Mr. Ledang said SLMM sea monitors are still continuing their investigations into the Mullaitivu incident. He was optimistic that the matter will be resolved soon and added that it is likely that additional procedures will be developed to prevent occurrence of such incidents in the future, sources said.

Meanwhile, the former secretary general of the Amnesty International Mr. Ian Martin arrived Killinochchi Wednesday morning to meet the senior leaders of the LTTE. Mr. Ian Martin held talks with the head of the Thamileelam judiciary, Mr. Pararajasingham, at the latter's office soon after his arrival, sources said.


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