Erik Solheim condemns
political Killings; says it is definite violation of Ceasefire Agreement
16, 2003 - 10.30 GMT]
Erik Solheim Norway’s
Special Envoy in the Peace process has condemned the murders of democratic
politicians in Sri Lanka. In an interview published in today’s Island
Solheim says the killings are a clear violation of last year’s Ceasefire
Agreement between the he Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.
This is the first
derogatory comment made by a senior Norwegian official on the LTTE’s
alleged serial killings of its political adversaries.
Norwegian role in the country’s ongoing peace process in the
recent past, has come in for criticism from several political observers as
well the man on the street.
Asked to comment on
former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar’s view that the Norwegian
facilitators have gone beyond their original mandate and are interfering too
much, Solheim said, “We
have clearly noticed Mr. Kadirgamar’s view in the press and we will
definitely take his point of view into consideration since he is a very
important politician in Sri Lanka”.
On the role of the Sri
Lanka Monitoring Mission, Solheim said that there were no ‘political
reasons’ behind the departure of former head of the mission, Furhovde.
He defended the SLMM and said they were ‘not
silent’ on the matter of the murders of democratic politicians and
army informants, and said “it was the monitors who conduct the
He further said that the
inclusion of monitors from other countries such as India were “strictly
for the parties to decide” and that a Norwegian National being the head of
the mission was also decided by the parties. He said, “In fact from the very beginning, Norway preferred that someone else
should do the monitoring because we thought it would be better to
distinguish between our role as the facilitator and that of the monitoring
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Date: July 16, 2003 - 10.30