June 21, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers Wednesday told peace broker Norway that European Union ceasefire monitors must go following the EU’s outlawing of the rebels, as the country slid further towards war. Norway’s ambassador Hans Brattskar was told by Tiger leaders that monitors from Denmark, Finland and Sweden must go soon and that the rebels would also be forced to ramp up their “defensive actions.”
Personnel for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) are drawn from five Nordic nations and are led by Swedish army general Ulf Henricsson.
The removal of the three EU members will leave only Norway and Iceland in the group.
“Foreign ministers from the Nordic countries will meet on June 29 to decide the future course of action,” SLMM spokesman Thorfinnur Omarsson said.
He said 37 of the current 57 monitors deployed in the island’s embattled northeast would have to quit under the Tiger demand, and the commission “would not be able to function properly.”
The marching orders for the truce monitors came amid moves by Norway to arrange a face-to-face meeting between the Colombo government and Tiger rebels in a bid to save their collapsing truce.
Brattskar said after the talks that “we need