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Fresh plans by SLMM to monitor sea activity

Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Ulf Henricsson yesterday assured the government that the SLMM was planning 'fresh' arrangements to continue sea monitoring and dismissed reports that there was a total pull out from monitoring sea activity.

Henricsson met the top brass of the government's Peace Secretariat last night to discuss issues relating to the continuance of sea monitoring activity of the SLMM. The SLMM Chief told the 'Sunday Observer' that the SLMM was in the process of making adjustments to come up with new safety regulations as early as next week.

Henricsson had asserted that the Sri Lankan government had full right and control of the sea and the LTTE demand to seek control of the waters was unacceptable under the ceasefire agreement.

Defence Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the 'Sunday Observer' last night that the SLMM was making 'fresh' arrangements for the purpose of monitoring activities in the sea and therefore, they (the SLMM) needed a few days to prepare plans. 'They are very concerned about monitoring sea movements and this is what Henriccson told us', he stressed.

Asked whether it was a 'temporary 'suspension by the SLMM, Minister Rambukwella explained that when new arrangements were underway, it meant that the SLMM would need a few days to get back to action.

The SLMM yesterday decided to evolve a new routine for monitoring the sea, following threats issued on them by the LTTE after the Tigers attacked a convoy of naval vessels off the coast of Vettilaikerni in the North. The LTTE warned the Scandinavian truce monitors to refrain from boarding naval vessels, or else they could be killed.

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