One of the key conditions of the LTTE ? disarming armed para military groups prior to the next round of peace talks is an enormously difficult task, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday.
It said this condition was extremely difficult to meet and as such it was under severe strain.
With barely a month before the second round of talks between the Government and the LTTE begins on April 19, LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasinhgam adopted a tough stand on Monday, with a threat to pull out of the talks unless government delivered on its promise to disarm rival militants.
SLMM spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir, tasked with overseeing the shaky ceasefire agreement, said there was no denying that rival armed groups were operating in the northeast.
?It will be a challenging task for the government to disarm them?, she added.
Striking a cautious note, Ms. Olafsdottir said the SLMM had no mandate to say how the problem should be tackled but hoped the two parties would stabilise the situation.
?It was not for the SLMM to go into the jungles to hunt for paramilitary groups?, she said.
Ms. Olafsdottir said more than 153 people were killed during December and January and this was one of the most difficult months the SLMM had to face since arriving in Sri Lanka.
?The presence of paramilitary groups has further complicated the conflict?, she said.
Ms. Olafsdottir said the SLMM was of the opinion the government should be held responsible for the violence in the government-controlled areas while the LTTE should be held responsible for the violence in areas within its control, regardless of other armed elements operating in these areas.
She said at the next round of talks in Geneva the SLMM would submit a report on the progress made since the February talks.