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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative Geneva Talks & After > Sri Lanka refutes LTTE claim of sovereignty

Tracking the Norwegian
Conflict Resolution Initiative

Sri Lanka refutes LTTE claim of sovereignty

18 May 2006
Sri Lanka Daily News
[see also LTTE refutes SLMM's statement on Rights to Sea ]

COLOMBO: The Government said its attention has been drawn to a news item on Tamilnet of May 12 headlined, 'SLMM has no mandate to rule on Tamil sovereign rights' in which LTTE Political Wing Leader S.P. Thamil Chelvam is quoted as stating; "We entered into the peace process based on the status quo achieved in the battlefield in our country. Nobody has the right to pass judgement on the sovereign rights of our access to the adjacent sea and airspace of our homeland."  The Government categorically rejected this assertion which is contrary to the recognised position under International Law. The Government said the assertion of sovereign rights, jurisdiction or any form of control over maritime zones is an essential attribute of a State and accordingly such rights could be asserted only by States under International Law.

It said:

"No other entity could assert such rights unless recognised by the international community as a State entity. A unilateral assertion by an entity of attributes of statehood does not confer on such entity any legal status. The assertion by the LTTE is yet another feeble attempt by them to exploit the Ceasefire Agreement to confer on themselves attributes of sovereignty.

The Ceasefire Agreement was concluded by the Government with the LTTE for the specific purpose of setting in place the modalities of a ceasefire with the objective of bringing an end to hostilities.

The agreement does not confer any right or legal status to a non-State entity which is a party to the agreement, outside the specific scope, purpose and context of that agreement. It does not apply nor was ever intended to apply, nor is capable of being interpreted as applying to issues such as the so-called sovereign attributes of a non-State entity.

The internal waters, the territorial sea and the territorial air space above, form part and parcel of the State territory over which it exercises sovereign authority. Accordingly, no sovereign State will acknowledge any other entity, state or non-state, exercising any rights or jurisdiction within its maritime areas or airspace.

The Government of Sri Lanka shall continue to take all necessary measures in the performance of its legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka."



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