A Scandinavian truce monitor, in charge of a northern district, on Tuesday disputed the Tigers` right to unrestricted access to sea routes to and from LTTE-held areas and air, UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena said.
The MP quoted Joakim Robertsson, in charge of Mannar, where the LTTE recently attacked a naval patrol killing four personnel, as saying that the Norwegian arranged Cease-Fire Agreement did not give the Tigers access to sea and air. `I appreciate his forthright assessment,` Jayawardena said while expressing belief that the LTTE would understand the reality.
Jayawardena was in Mannar to distribute 15 hand-operated sirens to warn people living in coastal areas in the event of an emergency.
LTTE Political Wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan recently reiterated their demand for unrestricted access to sea. This was immediately after Sea Tigers engaged two fibre glass dinghies off Pallimunai killing four navy personnel on December 22.
Referring to a wave of incidents, particularly the clash off Pallimunai and the claymore mine and rocket propelled grenade attack on a navy convoy on December 23, the SLMM official had said that they would have to pack up and go if violence escalated.
Ministerial sources yesterday praised US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead`s warning to the LTTE.
Lunstead Tuesday warned the LTTE that a return to war would cost them dearly.
He told a meeting of businessmen in Colombo, `If the LTTE chooses to abandon peace, however, we want it to be clear, they will face a stronger, more capable and more determined Sri Lankan military.` `We want the cost of a return to war to be high.`