Truce monitors climb down on Sri Lanka killings charge

May 2 (AFP) – Scandinavian truce monitors on Tuesday climbed down from an allegation that Sri Lankan government forces may have been responsible for extrajudicial killings. “The Sri Lankan government has conveyed to us that they are not aware of any such activities within their ranks,” the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said in a statement.

“We believe that the Sri Lankan government is sincere in this respect and are committed to prevent any such clandestine activities from taking place,” the SLMM said.

The initial SLMM statement Saturday expressed “fear that government security forces have, in the north and the east, been involved in extrajudicial killings of civilians. This conviction is based on our observation and inquiries on the ground.”

The monitors, who are supervising a 2002 truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, gave no further details at the time.

The allegation sparked a protest from the government which said it was “unconvinced about the ‘facts'” behind the comments.

“SLMM monitors on the ground have expressed some concerns over the last few weeks and months regarding the behaviour of some individuals on the ground that mi