Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan president complains of rebels' continuing violations

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COLOMBO, Jul 25, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga complained Monday to the co-chairs of the country's peace process that the Tiger rebels are still violating the cease- fire agreement signed three and half years ago.
At a meeting with the Colombo-based diplomatic representatives of the four co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, Kumaratunga said the violations include recruitment of children soldiers, assassinations of individuals opposed to the Tigers, the killing of policemen and soldiers.

The president said the government's obligations to disarm paramilitary groups under the cease-fire agreement was completed to the satisfaction of the Norwegian led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and the SLMM has stated that there are no other groups falling under this category.

She said the government does not condone nor support the activities of the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members of the Karuna group or any others, who are engaged in clashes with the mainstream LTTE in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

The meeting came less than a week after the co-chairs issued a joint statement calling on the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to take immediate action to prevent killings which might derail the Norwegian-backed cease-fire.

Kumaratunga said the government will review the cease-fire agreement through high level discussions with the LTTE to improve the security situation and build greater confidence. She welcomed efforts by the co-chairs to encourage such a dialogue.

The co-chairs were represented by US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead, British High Commissioner S.N. Evans, Norwegian Charge d 'Affaires Oddvar Laegreid represented the presidency of the EU, and Japan's Charge d'Affairs Hirochi Karube.