Killing of Tamil informants
No formal complaint by Govt. — AOSLMM

by Shamindra Ferdinando
The Norwegian-led truce monitoring mission said that it has not received a formal complaint from the government regarding a spate of killings of Tamil informants and soldiers by the Tigers.

The military and police said that over 20 persons had been killed. Some of them were ex-Tiger cadres and the others, members of rival Tamil groups, who joined volunteer battalions over a period of time.

SLMM spokesman Teitur Torkelson on Friday said: "We haven’t been asked to take specific action in this regard."

Responding to questions, he said that Defence Secretary Austin Fernando discussed with the SLMM some of these attacks. But the government has not complained that the Tigers violated a cease-fire agreement reached in February last year by targeting intelligence operatives. The first operative was killed shortly after the agreement.

The SLMM will take up this issue with the Tigers if police succeed in establishing the involvement of the Tigers in killings carried out in the north-east and Colombo. Torkelson said: "We want evidence. If the police provide evidence we will act."

Subsequent to last week’s killing of another Tamil soldier in Colombo, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe named a three-member team headed by the Defence Secretary to inquire into these killings. He wants an in depth-inquiry and a report submitted to him on a priority basis.

A presidential secretariat spokesman ridiculed the premier’s decision. The premier, he said, should have demanded the SLMM and the Norwegians to act immediately after the first killing.

The JVP and the PA strongly criticised the government, the Norwegians and the SLMM for their failure to ensure the implementation of the truce agreement. Under the pact, all Tamil groups were to be disarmed and the members placed under the command and disciplinary structure of the government forces for deployment outside the north-east.