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> SLMM had entered Mavil Aru area unannounced
SLMM had entered Mavil Aru area unannounced
Sri Lanka Secretariat for Coordinating Peace
(SCOPP) Press Release
[see also GoSL paying "scant regard"
to Norway's peace efforts - LTTE]
6 August 2006
The Security Forces continue to be engaged in ‘Operation Watershed’ which
commenced last week to restore water supplies to over 50,000 people and 30,000
acres of paddy land in the Seruwila, Muttur and Ichchalampattu areas. This
morning the Kallar Army Camp in the Mavil Aru area came under 122mm artillery
shelling from the LTTE. The LTTE has brought artillery guns to this area and the
Security Forces were responding with artillery fire to neutralize the LTTE gun
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) had entered this area unannounced. The
SLMM had NOT INFORMED the Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process
(SCOPP) regarding intended travel to Mavil Aru. SCOPP informed the SLMM
Headquarters in Colombo and sought the withdrawal of the SLMM from this
operational area in order to prevent endangering the lives of SLMM Monitors.
In order to ensure the safety of the SLMM Monitors traveling in operational
areas the SLMM and SCOPP have developed procedures. Prior to traveling to an
operational area, the Head of SLMM informs SCOPP of travel plans which are
communicated to the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
The ground forces are informed of such travel plans and precautions taken to
ensure safe passage for SLMM Monitors.
The Mavil Aru area has been illegally and forcibly encroached by LTTE cadres
recently. The Engineer of the Irrigation Department has managed the sluice-gate
at Mavil Aru. In fact several political representatives and Government officials
have visited the sluice-gate in the recent past.
Any discussions on the Mavil Aru issue must ensure that the situation at the
sluice-gate returns to its original status in which the Engineer of the
Irrigation Department can have unimpeded access the sluice-gates freely and
safely to manage the water distribution at Mavil Aru. This position has been
conveyed to the Norwegian Facilitator and awaiting their return to Colombo for