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Cambodia vows to end arms flow to LTTE

CAMBODIA: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has promised to cut off the flow of weapons from his country to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, his spokesman said yesterday. "He asked Sri Lanka to trust Cambodia that no more weapons would enter Sri Lanka," Khieu Kanharith quoted Hun Sen as telling visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake.

Hun Sen also promised to exchange intelligence with Colombo to help curb the flow, Khieu Kanharith, who attended the meeting, told reporters.

The Cambodian leader admitted for the first time last year that arms were smuggled out of the country, still emerging from two decades of war, to terror movements in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Hun Sen condemned the LTTE fight for an independent state and called on the Government to give humanitarian organisations more access to civilians being victimised by the fighting.

During the Prime Minister's visit to Vietnam, Vietnamese authorities to agreed to boost intelligence cooperation with their Sri Lankan counterparts.

During extensive talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake cited intelligence reports indicating the region as a base for LTTE arms procurement.

He told the Vietnamese leader that better cooperation and increased vigilance in the intelligence sphere would help stop this practice.

Dung assured his country's fullest cooperation to such an initiative, adding that Vietnam would not tolerate terrorist activities on its doorstep.

These developments come in the wake of a plan by Southeast Asian leaders to sign an accord committing their nations to helping each other extradite and prosecute terror suspects.

The ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism, which will be put to leaders at next month's summit, is an initiative of the Philippines, which has launched a huge manhunt for two alleged Bali bombers and Jemaah Islamiyah members in its southern jungles.

Among other things, it would oblige member nations "to extend mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, including extradition or prosecution of perpetrators of terrorist acts," he said.

It would also identify "criminal acts of terrorism" in accordance with UN protocols, he said.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

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