No split in LTTE command - Balasingham

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 October 2004, 11:22 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers’ Political Strategist and Chief Negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, Friday dismissed Colombo-based press reports of a split in the senior leadership of the Liberation Tigers as "malicious speculation." Mr. Balasingham told TamilNet that Indian and Sri Lankan press reports that Sea Tiger Special Commander, Col. Soosai, had split from the LTTE were "baseless rumours intended to alarm and demoralise the Tamil people."

"There is no disagreement or difference of opinion between LTTE leader Mr. Pirapaharan and any of his senior commanders,” Mr. Balasingham told TamilNet Friday morning when contacted about reports in the Sinhala-owned English-language newspapers about “differences of opinion” with the LTTE leadership.

"Col. Soosai spoke with me Thursday morning and we discussed the press speculation," Mr. Balasingham said.

"Such reports based on malicious rumours are promoted by those seeking to alarm and create apprehension amongst our people," Mr. Balasingham said.

Some press reports which had pointed at Col. Soosai’s absence from the Women's Resurgence Day celebrations in Kilinochchi last Sunday as indicative of a split were "unduly presumptive," Mr. Balasingham.

"Col. Soosai told me he was unable to attend due to illness," Mr. Balasingham said.

"Col. Soosai has a bullet lodged in his back from a wound sustained in fighting during the IPKF intervention. The bullet has gradually moved and occasionally causes severe discomfort and compelling him to rest," Mr. Balasingham explained.


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