Jaffna LTTE commander says attacks will intensify
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Jaffna military commander of the Liberation Tigers (who replaced the former commander Veeman recently) and his deputy gave an exclusive interview to TamilNet's Vadamaradchi correspondent who met them in Naagarkovil yesterday. (They asked the TamilNet correspondent to refrain from publishing their noms de guerre at this juncture for security reasons.) The following are excerpts from the interview.
Question:What is the position of the Liberation Tigers in the Jaffna peninsula today?
Answer: We are running the civil administration in Vadamaradchi east and on the island of Pungudutheevu. We extend our administration into the other areas according to the circumstances.
Question: What is your attitude towards those who contested the local government elections in Jaffna ?
Answer: We do not think that they can achieve anything big for the Tamils given the conditions prevailing in Jaffna today. The only way for the Tamils to achieve their rights is to struggle for self-determination. There is no other path open to them.
Question: What have you got to say about the condition of the civilians in Jaffna today?
Answer: They are suffering under the Sri Lankan military administration. Many of them face immense hardships. We would like to advise and request them to avoid living near SLA bunkers and camps.
Question: Does this mean that you (the Liberation Tigers) are going to expand your military activities in the peninsula?
Answer: We would like the people of Jaffna to be always alert. Our attacks will intensify in Jaffna in the time to come. The SLA is covering up many of the attacks which we have carried out in the Jaffna peninsula.
Question: Has the economic embargo imposed by the SLA on areas where you are active affected your operations?
Answer: No. It has only affected the civilians living in these areas. Our food and military supplies are ample. In addition to this, we acquire more than our own supplies from the attacks we carry out on the Sri Lankan Army in Jaffna.
Question: It is apparent today that many of your members are wounded in confrontations with the Sri Lankan Army in various parts of Jaffna. The army is severely restricting the supply of medicines to the areas which are not under its control. Are you in a position to treat your wounded cadres under these circumstances?
Answer: Again, we have to say that these restrictions harm only the civilians. There is a fully equipped unit from our medical corps here which can handle any situation including complicated surgery.
Question: You observe certain procedures for burying your dead. Is it possible to do so in Jaffna?
Answer: We have established a 'Thuyilum Illam' (war dead memorial) in Vadamaradchi east. Fourteen Tigers who lost their lives in battles with the army in Jaffna are buried here.