Cash-strapped TELO seen 'down-sizing'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Jeyakumar Kaantharooban, a cadre of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) from Batticaloa, who surrendered to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), was remanded till March 18 by the Jaffna District Judge S. A. E Ekanathan today, said sources in Jaffna.

Kaantharooban had been brought by TELO to Jaffna during campaign for the local government polls in January. But once it was over, the TELO had tried to persuade him to leave, and assaulted him.

It is believed that the TELO's depleting funds in Jaffna is one of the reason for the ex-militant group to discharge cadres whom the group feels are redundant, as they are a strain on its purse.

Kaantharooban, unable to bear his organisation's harassment any longer, surrendered to the SLA, which then handed him over to the police. The police produced him in court.

The District Judge asked the police to protect Kaantharooban until he is produced in court next.

The other Tamil groups in the peninsula blame the TELO for engaging in extortion in Jaffna town after the conclusion of the local polls.

They say that the TELO has demanded money from local merchants and others, saying that it is hard pressed for cash to return to Colombo and to fund some of its cadres in Jaffna.

The PLOTE and the EPDP issued statements in Jaffna recently advising the people to report anyone demanding money in their organisations' names.

Their statements were prompted by the activities of the TELO, said informed sources in Jaffna.

 

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