Colombo responds to LTTE ultimatum

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 July 2005, 13:43 GMT]
"...Government has requested SLMM personnel to be present on the buses with the LTTE cadres and SL Army escorts," said a media release by the Government of Sri Lanka in response to LTTE's request to ensure security to LTTE cadres when they are transported in the east. The LTTE also demanded a response before 15 July.

LTTE had earlier requested that its cadres be transported in smaller batches and that Sri Lanka Army personnel be present in each vehicle.

Full text of the release follows:

Media Release 11 July 2005

Mr Jayantha Dhanapala, Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) today handed over to Mr Hagrup Haukland, Head of Mission, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, the Government's response to the LTTE letter regarding the movement of LTTE cadres through Government controlled areas. The LTTE had on 30th June 2005, written to the Head of Mission of SLMM on this matter.

The Government has rejected the LTTE's accusations of involvement by the security forces in the landmine explosion that took place on 26th June 2005, during a LTTE movement from Kilinochchi to Batticaloa, which was escorted by the army.

The Government has also pointed out that providing of military escort for LTTE's movements through Government controlled territory is a confidence building measure and not a right under the Ceasefire Agreement.

The Government has conveyed through the SLMM to the LTTE the modalities for such movements of LTTE cadres through Government controlled areas in the letter handed over to the SLMM. It has been explained that providing armed escort for LTTE cadres for one round trip movement per month, from Kilinochchi to Batticaloa and from Kilinochchi to Trincomalee, will be continued under stipulated conditions. Government has requested the SLMM personnel to be present on the buses with the LTTE cadres and SL Army escorts.


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