SLA, LTTE meet again over Jaffna Heroes’ Day
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 November 2003, 09:43 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army met again Tuesday to resolve persisting friction over the Great Heroes’ Day observations in Jaffna. Speaking to the press after the meeting, Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, said his troops won’t interfere in the Great Heroes’ Day arrangements in the peninsula. Responding to a question from TamilNet, he said the SLA won’t allow the Tiger flag to be flown in Sri Lankan government buildings and public places.
He said that the two sides have found ‘some solutions’ to the problem.
However, Mr. K. Semmanan, the deputy leader of the LTTE’s political wing in Jaffna said that the SLA had promised again not to disturb Heroes’ Day observations in the peninsula. “They promised us the same thing last time we met them but then they did not keep their promise. The Great Heroes’ Day functions are an expression of the Tamil people’s aspirations”, Mr. Semmanan told the press after the meeting.
“We will not compromise on the issue of raising the Tamileelam national flag. It is not like the other matters”, Mr. Semmanan emphasised.
He said that his delegation has discussed with the Sri Lanka Police about holding the Heroes’ Day observations without hindrance to traffic.
He added that the SLA had said that students and government workers should not be asked to take part in the Heroes’ Day functions during work hours. “Participating is their personal wish”, he added.
The meeting was arranged by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission at its main office in Jaffna.
Jaffna Police HQ Inspector, Mr. Ananda Senivaratne, ASP Mr. J. Kulawardhana and the Officer in Charge of Traffic of the Jaffna town Police took part in the meeting.
Maj. Gen Sarath Fonskeka was assisted by the Deputy Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, Maj. Gen. D. Ratnasbapathy.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga replaced Major General Sarath Fonseka with Major General Paramee Kulatunga as the new Jaffna regional commander a few days ago. Kulatunga is yet to assume duties.
Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka after the meeting. Maj. Gen. D. Ratnasabapathy to his left.
A Heroes' Day memorial being built in Chavakachcheri town amid objections by SLA.
Jaffna University main entrance Tuesday