Lanka warns tough action against Nordic truce monitors

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Colombo, Oct 5 (UNI) The government of Sri Lanka today accused the Nordic truce monitors of assisting an Icelandic diplomat to hold clandestine meeting with the Tamil Tiger rebels in Wanni and warned that tough action would be taken against them if their activities ''continued to pose serious threat to the country's national security.'' Defence spokesman and Foreign Employment Minister Keheliya Rambukwella issued this warning at a press conference here today, charging the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) of having ''misused immunities accorded to them under the Ceasefire Agreement''.

''It is sad to mention here that the Icelandic diplomat who had entered the country on a private has taken the coverage and refuge of the SLMM to visit Kilinochchi and hold talks with the LTTE leaders without the permission of the government this week,'' Mr Rambukwella said.

Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has already urged the government Iceland to ''recall immediately'' its visiting Foreign Ministry envoy Bjarni Vestmann who held a meeting with the LTTE leaders in the rebel-held Wanni on Tuesday.

Mr Rambukwella said this action by the SLMM has ''created serious doubts'' whether they have carried people to the rebel-held whom the government would not have accepted.

''We will call the SLMM and take appropriate action to ensure that such activities are not repeated in the future. We will not hesitate to do that,'' Mr Rambukwella told reporters.

''We may even go to the extent of checking the leaders, the members or even the vehicles of the SLMM if necessary in the future,'' the Defence spokesman said.

Pointing out that this was not the first time that the SLMM has committed such mistakes, Mr Rambukwella charged the SLMM of ''working against the agreed rule and regulations and tendering apologies when questioned''.

UNI

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