SLMM to continue presence in all areas
COLOMBO: Truce monitors yesterday said the they will remain in their
present stations in all conflict affected districts including
Kilinochchi, denying reports on alleged threats from the LTTE.
Reports claim the LTTE has refused to provide security to remaining
monitors, who come from Norway and Iceland, the two non-EU nations in
the monitoring team.
Norwegian Embassy spokesman Tom Knappskog said the LTTE has not
communicated 'anything to that effect' and Monitoring Mission spokesman
Omarsson Thorfinnur confirmed it saying the mission have not encountered
threats or communications of threats from the LTTE.
With the scheduled departure of Swedish Chief of Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission (SLMM) Ulf Henricsson on September 1, Acting Mission head Maj.
Gen. Lars Johan Solvberg, will oversee the duties of the SLMM Chief
Monitor till a permanent appointment is made. The new chief is expected
to assume duties from Friday.
Solvberg left for Norway yesterday after a short visit to Colombo and
Killinochchi where he met Peace Secretariat officials and the LTTE
Early this month, three EU nations Finland, Denmark and Sweden
decided to recall its monitors on a demand made by the LTTE. This
followed the recent EU ban on the LTTE and reduced the 57-strong mission
strength by over two-third.
As a short term measure the mission was returned to half its original
strength by inducting more monitors from Norway and Iceland.
With the new enlistments to the Swedish led monitoring Mission will
be transformed to a Norway led Mission with 20 Norwegians and ten