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 Post subject: LTTE violates ceasefire: Norway monitors
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:16 pm 
LTTE violates ceasefire: Norway monitors

Web posted at: 4/9/2005 11:13:27
Source ::: AFP

COLOMBO: Scandinavians monitoring a truce between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers ruled yesterday that the rebels were in breach of the ceasefire when they attacked a naval patrol boat.

The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) violated the ceasefire agreement by attacking the craft three days ago. There were no casualties in the shooting.

However, a member of the team monitoring Sri Lanka’s fragile ceasefire was slightly injured after diving for cover when the patrol boat was fired on near the eastern port of Trincomalee, the military said.

The cease-fire monitoring group has no legal clout to enforce their rulings.

A spokeswoman of the monitoring group however said the Tigers had undermined the spirit of the ceasefire and violated part of the agreement that refers to the use of direct or indirect weapons against each other.

The truce between the government and the LTTE went into effect from February 23, 2002. The monitoring of the ceasefire began a few weeks later.

The monitoring group has so far held the Tigers responsible for 2,636 ceasefire violations while the Sri Lankan military has been held responsible for 115 instances of breaking the truce.

Despite the violations, monitors have said the truce was by and large holding.

Military spokesman Daya Ratnayake said they were pleased with the monitor’s ruling and asked the guerrilla leadership to ensure that lower ranks fall in line with the truce agreement.

“We have seen this type of violation in the past and the Tigers usually blame lower level cadres,” Ratnayake said. “They must have greater control over the regional leaders otherwise it is bad for the ceasefire.” There was no immediate reaction from the LTTE.

Meanshile, at least two people were killed in Sri Lanka’s restive eastern province yesterday in what military officials described as escalating rebel factional fighting.

A breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers clashed with the main rebel outfit in the eastern region of Mahindapura early yesterday, leaving at least one dead and several injured, a military official here said.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas were accused of killing a rival in the town of Kathankudi overnight, officials said, adding that three more people had been wounded in another shooting in the same province.

A regional commander of the LTTE led an unprecedented split in March last year and since then there have been clashes between the two groups.

Sri Lanka’s peace broker Norway has warned that the internecine clashes were undermining efforts to resolve the island’s long-running ethnic conflict.

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