LTTE protests SLA's funeral restrictions

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 October 2003, 20:40 GMT]
Mr.S.Ezhilan, the Vavuniya district political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), Wednesday wrote to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, saying that he was concerned about the SLMM’s endorsement of the conditions laid down by the Sri Lanka Army on holding the funeral of an LTTE cadre in Vavuniya, as these conditions amounted, in his view, to interference in the political activities of the LTTE.

The SLA had Tuesday laid down several conditions on holding the funeral of the LTTE cadre, Mr. Aliventhan, who died in an accident in Mullaithivu Sunday. And the SLMM had endorsed those conditions. Following this, Mr. Ezhilan dispatched his letter to the SLMM.

"We consider the SLA's conditions as a violation of the ceasefire agreement. These conditions are tantamount to obstructing our legal political activities. We are concerned about your endorsement of the conditions,” Mr. Ezhilan’s letter to the SLMM said. “We request the SLMM to avoid further interference in our political activities based on the dictates of the SLA.”

On Tuesday, before Mr. Aliventhan’s body could be brought to Vavuniya from Puliyankulam through the Sri Lanka Army's checkpoint in Omanthai, the SLA had refused permission for the body to be transported with LTTE uniform and draped in LTTE flags.

The SLA also stipulated that the public could not attend the funeral and there should be no flag-hoisting functions.

As a result, after arguments and delays, the LTTE had to re-dress the body in normal clothes and remove the LTTE flags before bringing it into the SLA-controlled area of Vavuniya.

The body was kept at the LTTE's political office in Vavuniya for the people to pay their respects and later a memorial service was held at a school in Eachankulam before the body was taken to the martyr’s cemetery nearby.

 

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