Reopen channels for direct dialogue at local level - SLMM

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 December 2005, 07:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on Tuesday urged the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to reopen the channels for direct dialogue at the local level to diffuse the situation in the NorthEast. The attacks that have taken place over the last few days must stop immediately if the peace process is to move forward, the SLMM statement said. Colombo, on Monday, declined permission to the Jaffna commander of the Sri Lanka Army to proceed with the SLMM facilitated meeting in Muhamalai no man zone with the LTTE's political head in Jaffna.

The statement urged the international community to use their influence in order to arrest the situation and make way for renewed peace talks.

"The SLMM will continue to do everything within its power to diffuse the tense situation that is prevailing, not only on Jaffna peninsula but in the whole of the North and East," the statement from the Headquarters of SLMM office in Colombo said on Tuesday.

"The recent escalation of violence in Jaffna peninsula is of great concern to everyone, and the SLMM strongly condemns the cowardly attacks that have resulted in the deaths of seven Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil civilians. In addition, many people have been injured. However the violence has not escalated out of control as of yet," the statement added.

Excerpts from the SLMM statement:

"In this respect, the SLMM commends the security forces for reacting with restraint in a very difficult security situation."

"Needless to say, the escalating violence is jeopardising the ceasefire and also endangering the whole peace process at a time when there are signs that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the LTTE are preparing for the resumption of peace talks."

"The SLMM is currently inquiring into these incidents, both parties hold the other party responsible for. The security forces have accused the LTTE involvement in the attacks against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), while the LTTE has accused the Security forces for recent killings of Tamil civilians in the Jaffna area and other armed element for being involved in the attacks on the SLA."

"The SLMM has not been presented with any substantial information regarding the perpetrators of these attacks and urge those parties to come forward wit any information they may have. The attackers must be apprehended immediately. The LTTE must also use their influence on the Tamil population to calm down the situation. The attacks that have taken place over last few days must stop immediately if the peace process is to move forward."

"Furthermore the SLMM urge both parties to do their utmost to reopen the channels for direct dialogue at the local level. Only then can practical problems on the ground be solved and the current situation calm down."

 

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