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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Sri Lanka truce monitors upbeat
Prime Minister Wickramasinghe with UK Minister for International Development Claire Short
Mr Wickramasinghe's initiative has received support
The body supervising the ceasefire in Sri Lanka between security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels says the two sides are complying with the terms of the agreement.


None of the ceasefire violations jeopardised the agreement

SLMM report

In a report issued on Wednesday, the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said none of the 58 violations recorded until mid-May jeopardised the ceasefire or the peace process.

The SLMM report talks of around 200 complaints of abduction, harassment, movement restriction and forced recruitment the mission has received from the two parties and members of the public.

As efforts to get talks started continue, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe is visiting Europe to secure support for the peace initiative.

Mr Wickramasinghe is briefing leaders of the European Union and Britain on the progress of the peace process and seeking assistance for his government's reconstruction plans.

Optimistic assessment

The SLMM report puts an encouraging gloss on the complaints the mission has received and processed between 23 February, when the truce became effective, and 15 May.

SLMM chief General Trond Furuhovde meets LTTE chief Prabhakaran
The Norwegians are optimistic about the truce

"None of the ceasefire violations jeopardised the agreement," the SLMM report said.

The report provides details of complaints received from northern and eastern districts of Sri Lanka where violence was brought to an end by the ceasefire agreement.

The largest number of complaints were received in the eastern Batticaloa district, closely followed by the neighbouring Trincomalee district.

The SLMM reported receiving the fewest complaints from the district of Mannar.

The monitors did not identify who made the complaints; nor did they say who was guilty of any of the violations.

Diplomatic exercises

The SLMMs' optimism has been reinforced by the prime minister's visit to Brussels and London.

Sri Lankan soldiers on parade in Colombo
Truce violations have been modest and limited

Mr Wickramasinghe's peace initiative has reportedly received praise from his European hosts, and some development assistance has been offered.

Mr Wickramasinghe has already met Britain's Minister for International Development, Claire Short, and is meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair later on Wednesday.

He will also receive Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen in London after Mr Helgesen's meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Colombo on Monday.

Although President Kumaratunga has formally supported the peace process, she has asked that the Tigers give up their demand for a separate homeland.


Peace efforts

Background

BBC SINHALA SERVICE

BBC TAMIL SERVICE

TALKING POINT
See also:

27 May 02 | South Asia
24 May 02 | South Asia
18 Mar 02 | South Asia
23 May 02 | South Asia
21 May 02 | South Asia
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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