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News, 7/28/2006

Finland to withdraw its ceasefire monitors from Sri Lanka

Finland will withdraw its team of ten ceasefire monitors from Sri Lanka. The Finns will return to their home country by the beginning of September. The decision is based on security grounds, as the Tamil rebels –  the other party of the ceasefire agreement – are no longer going to guarantee the monitors' safety after 1 September.

Denmark has made a similar decision to withdraw its own observers from the country.

The Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, signed in 2002 a ceasefire agreement mediated by Norway. In the same connection, an agreement was made about the ceasefire monitoring mission under Norwegian leadership. To date, 60 observers from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland have participated in the mission.

The hostilities have continued in spite of the ceasefire agreement. The European Union listed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation in May. As a counter-measure, the LTTE announced that it will no longer consider ceasefire monitors coming from EU countries as impartial.

 

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Updated 7/31/2006

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