Details of Karuna's whereabouts emerge
[TamilNet, Monday, 21 June 2004, 01:15 GMT]
Revelation by four Senior LTTE women commanders who escaped from Colombo and rejoined the LTTE Friday, that Karuna is working with the Sri Lanka Security Forces in Colombo, is likely to raise serious doubts on the bona fides of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and has introduced a potentially explosive component to prospects for peace, political sources in Colombo said.
Batticaloa LTTE Head of Women military wing, Nilavini, Batticaloa Head of LTTE Political Wing, Premini, Senior Commanders of the women military wing, Lavanya and Theenthamil who left with Karuna in early April during the offensive by the LTTE on Karuna's group, said they escaped from Colombo and rejoined the Liberation Tigers on the 18 June [Friday]. They did not reveal further details on how they were able to free themselves and reach Batticaloa.
Nilavini, speaking to the BBC Tamil service Sunday said: "Initially we were all together in Colombo under Sri Lanka security forces. Later Karuna moved to a separate place. Since we did not agree with the conduct of Karuna we started pressuring him to let us rejoin our parents. He assured us that he is making arrangements and as soon as they are ready he will allow us to go back to our homes. Since it was getting delayed we increased our pressure on him, but finally have to find our way out of Colombo and rejoined the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa on 18 (Friday)."
When asked why the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is denying that they are giving shelter to Karuna, Nilavini said GoSL can no longer deny harboring Karuna as they stayed with him under the protection of Sri Lanka security forces. She added that she can provide the necessary supporting evidence.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defence, Cyril Herath, told the BBC Sinhala Service Sandeshya that he denies totally the allegations by the LTTE that GoSL is providing shelter to Karuna. He said that these are just allegations and if the LTTE can provide evidence, the GoSL will investigate the matter.
Responding to Col.Ramesh's accusation that the GoSL is attempting to use Karuna to renew hostilities, Mr.Herath said the GoSL is committed to peace talks and that there is already some dialogue underway. Under these circumstances it is wrong to think that the GoSL will start a war.
Mr.Herath also said that the recent reports on local media on incidents in Thoppigala jungles were grossly exaggerated. He added that the reports they have received indicated that there was some fighting in Thoppigala area and the casualty figure
was seven or eight.