Colombo said considering alternative to Nordic truce mission

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 August 2004, 06:36 GMT]
Sri Lanka' Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka, said Monday that his government is thinking of either enhancing the powers of the Nordic truce monitoring mission in the island or finding a more effective alternative to it.

He was speaking among officers of Sri Lanka Police, army, navy and air force at the JOSSOP military base in Vavuniya during an official visit to the region Monday. Local media was invited to cover his visit. Mr. Wicremanayaka is also the Acting Minister of Defence as President Kumaratunga is away in UK on holiday. 'We complain to the Sri Lanka monitoring Mission whenever the cease fire is violated. But they (SLMM) cannot do anything effective', he said, speaking in Sinhala. He said that what prevails today is not permanent peace and hence it is important for the Sri Lankan armed forces to maintain their strength. "We want to abide by the cease fire. But we are saddened by incidents in Colombo", he added.

The minister arrived by helicopter at the JOSSOP base in Vavuniya around 9 a.m. Monday. He met Sri Lankan Security Forces Commander for Vanni, Maj. Gen. Sisira Wijesuriya. Mr. Wickremanyaka then flew to Mannar. He is scheduled to visit the main entry point to the LTTE controlled Vanni at Omanthai later in the day.

 

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