Erik Solheim condemns political Killings; says it is definite violation of Ceasefire Agreement 

[July 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.

The 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 investigations”.

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 mission”.

 

 

 

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Last Updated Date: July 16, 2003  - 10.30 GMT.

 


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