Stick to mandate, SLMM told
COLOMBO: The Government yesterday warned the Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission (SLMM) that it will not hesitate to subject the monitors to
security checks if they continue to misuse their immunity in a manner
prejudicial to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
Commenting on Icelandic Foreign Ministry Councillor Bjarni Vestmann’s
meeting with representatives of the LTTE, Government Defence Spokesman
Keheliya Rambukwella said the SLMM had made a serious blunder by
providing help for an unauthorised rendezvous during a private visit by
the diplomat to the country.
“Any person can make a private visit to Sri Lanka so long as he
abides by the law of the land. But this meeting concerned the
sovereignty of the country since they could have been carrying personnel
the Government would not have approved of. The Government considers it
essential to prevent any further action of this nature,” he said.
Rambukwella said although the apology tendered by the Government of
Iceland was acceptable at the diplomatic level, it was questionable as
to whether the SLMM could redress its abuse of immunity by merely
“The SLMM has committed similar acts in the past and we have piles of
letters of apologies from them for such actions. As a result, we have
now been compelled to go even to the extent of checking their personnel
and vehicles, if it is necessary in the interest of the country,” he
The Defence Spokesman also pointed out that Norwegian envoy Jon
Hanssen Bauer had to undergo a bitter experience after he made a similar
unauthorised detour to Mavilaru last year, when he was permitted only to
have negotiations with the LTTE.