Monitors urge parties to refrain from violence in Vaharai

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 11:33 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), in an statement issued from Colombo Tuesday, urged the Parties, the GoSL and the LTTE, to refrain from "any further viloence" in Vaharai area. Restriction of SLMM access by GoSL forces to areas where violations may have taken place is in itself a violation of the CFA and more importantly prevents the SLMM from working according to is mandate, charged the statement. "The LTTE has failed to protect civilians in Vakarai by restricting their movements," the SLMM statement accused the Tigers.

Full text of the press release issued by the SLMM follows:

SLMM HQ
Colombo
Date: 12.12.2006


SUBJECT: Urgent concerns over alarming situation in Vakarai area

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, SLMM, is deeply concerned over the escalating violence in the area between Batticaloa and Trincomalee in the east part of Sri Lanka. The violence does not only put the Cease Fire Agreement, CFA, into great danger, but jeopardizes lives of thousands of innocent civilians, especially internally displaced people in the Vakarai area.

The LTTE has failed to protect civilians in Vakarai by restricting their movements.

It is the responsibility of the LTTE to do their utmost to facilitate for these innocent civilians to reach safe ground. The SLMM has contrary to acceptable practices on one occasion experienced that civilians were being hindered from exiting the area.

The SLMM has not been able to monitor the situation as well as it would have wanted as monitors have been continuously refused access by the SLA into the areas of concern. The SLA has cited security reasons for this. SLMM has on countless occasions tried to patrol into Vakarai and most recently in the Kallar area for inspections. Restriction of SLMM access by GOSL forces to areas where violations may have taken place is in itself a violation of the CFA and more importantly prevents the SLMM from working according to its mandate given to them by the Parties.

In this alarming situation, the SLMM reminds the Parties that they "shall in accordance with international law abstain from hostile acts against the civilian population." (CFA, article 2.1).

The SLMM urges the Parties to do their utmost to respect the CFA and to refrain from any further violence in the area.


Chronology:


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