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Sri Lanka: Violations of the Cease Fire Agreement

Sri Lanka: Violations of the Cease Fire Agreement

"The [Sri Lanka] government claimed that it had nothing to do with this [Karuna] group and was not aware of their existence. But when we visited the spot in the east and asked the Sri Lankan army where we could find Karuna, they told us where to go. So it was clear that the local army knew where he was," said Sunday Leader, a Colombo weekly, in the Sunday edition, quoting Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir as saying in an interview to the paper.

Effective implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) has been a contentious issue between the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers, and the leadership of LTTE has resolutely stood for the strict implementation of Clause 1.8 that prohibits activities of armed groups as imperative to prevent violence.

Ms Olafsdottir added: "We do not have evidence that the government is directly supporting or harbouring Karuna. But the government is aware of such a group and its existence but has not addressed it properly. This makes our monitoring even more difficult," the paper said.

On the question of number of violations of CFA, Ms Olafsdottir, again referred to the paramilitary issue. "You see everyone will think that my answer will be LTTE. If you look at the numbers, I think the LTTE has violated the CFA more. But it goes a lot deeper than that. The current dilemma stems from beneath the surface. There are several paramilitary groups operating and we have seen one of these camps and it was quite clear that the army on the ground was aware because this was in the government controlled area," the paper quoted Ms Olafsdottir as saying.

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