The government is seeking to review the ceasefire agreement and hopes the Norwegian facilitators will take the initiative to convince the LTTE to agree to a review in the light of continuing violations of the 2002 agreement by both sides, a spokesman said yesterday.Addressing a news conference government defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwelle said the government was prepared to review the ceasefire agreement and that it was up to Norway to take the initiative.
Norway Ambassador Hans Brattskar was scheduled to visit Killinochchi yesterday for a meeting with the LTTE but the much awaited visit was called off for the second time in the last three weeks owing to security reasons.
`The government has not totally given up on seeking a negotiated settlement. The time has come to re-look at the CFA and see if it can go on. We have repeatedly said the agreement has to be reviewed. It is up to Norway to take up the initiative,` Minister Rambukwelle said.
Minister Rambukwelle said the government would not accept any invitation from a group of British parliamentarians seeking to hold a summit between the government, LTTE and Norway in London with the intention of restarting the peace talks.
`We deal with the British government and the foreign ministry and not with any individual so we are not concerned about the comments of British MPs or those made at the House of Commons,` Minister Rambukwelle asserted.
The Minister also took exception to the weekly situation report of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) which spoke of an increase in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and manned spy plane activity over the LTTE-controlled Wanni region.
`The SLMM can verify several of these,` the ceasefire monitors said in their April 23 to 29 report.
The report that appeared on the SLMM website was republished in the Daily Mirror yesterday.
Minister Rambukwelle referred to it as a `media statement` and insisted the cease fire monitors had exceeded their mandate by commenting on action taken by the government for the sake of national security.
`We will in fact increase our air surveillance even if it violates the ceasefire agreement. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety of its people and we will do that. National security will not be compromised at any time. We are concerned about the SLMM statements and we will take it up with them,` Minister Rambukwelle said.
The defense spokesman advised the media against referring to the LTTE air unit as the rebel `Air Force` as it gave legitimacy to the LTTE air wing.
`There is only one air force and that was operated by the government,` he said.
Minister Rambukwelle assured the Air force, which used its `spot defense` system to target suspicious aircraft had the capability to neutralise the rebel air capability soon.