Sri Lanka: February 7, 2003

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In the clearest violation of the ceasefire, three LTTE members blew themselves up as European ceasefire monitors attempted to inspect a boat them LTTE men were on. The boat was caught, by the navy, for attempting to smuggle weapons into the country. This is forbidden by the ceasefire. But the European monitors found a 23mm anti-aircraft gun and other weapons on the boat. The three man crew protested and eventually blew themselves up. The peace talks are about to resume, and it may be difficult to continue ignoring the repeated violations of the ceasefire by the LTTE. As many Sri Lankans suspected, the LTTE only agreed to the ceasefire and peace talks because the rebels were on the ropes and saw this as an opportunity to rebuild their combat forces before resuming the fight. The Norwegians, however, have been determined to achieve a negotiated peace, and have turned a blind eye to LTTE's warlike moves. 

 

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