SLMM political advisor meets Mannar LTTE
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 October 2003, 18:27 GMT]
The political advisor to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Mr. Gejir Sebeasd Deniy, met officials of the Liberation Tigers in Mannar Friday for discussions about the ground situation in the district during the 17 months of cease-fire between Colombo and the LTTE. Head of the LTTE political division in Mannar Mr. C Amithaab, told Mr. Deniy that there weren't any problems with the Sri Lankan armed forces in the district only during the first five months of the cease-fire.
The SLMM’s political advisor who was accompanied by Ms. Ann Sender, deputy head of SLMM in Mannar, had discussions with Mr. Amithaab and his deputy, Mr. M. Arunothayan, at the LTTE peace secretariat in the northwestern island town from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The LTTE officials told Mr. Deniy that their supporters and activists were frequently and unduly harassed by the Sri Lanka army intelligence unit in Mannar. They pointed out that this was a hindrance to restoring normalcy and was undermining the peace process.
If this were to continue unchecked, the consequences would be grave, the LTTE officials told Mr. Deniy.
Mr. Deniy also met the EPDP, PLOTE and the Varathar faction of the EPRLF, which works with the SLA.
The three groups told the SLMM advisor that they are present in Mannar only on paper; that they cannot engage in public activities due to constraints imposed by the LTTE’s presence in the district. They drew his attention to the threats they have to face in Mannar. They said the Sri Lankan military is not in favour of ‘Pongu Thamil’ that is going to be held in Mannar on 15 Oct. and hence will exacerbate tensions in the district
Earlier in the afternoon the SLMM advisor met the Tamil political parties, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF).
The parties told Mr. Deniy that ‘Pongu Thamil’ is a spontaneous expression of the Tamil people’s feelings and aspirations and that it was unreasonable for the army to block students and government servants from taking part in it.
Mr. Vino Noharathalingam, ex MP for Mannar, Mr. S. Baskaran, TELO organiser and Mr. Ratnasingham Kumares, EPRLF district secretary took part in the meeting.
They also apprised the SLMM advisor about the private properties and public buildings that are still being occupied by the SLA in contravention of the cease-fire agreement.