"A dirty War of Attrition in the East" - LTTE blames Colombo

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 August 2005, 10:29 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Thursday blamed the Government of Sri Lanka for "covertly supporting a dirty war of attrition" against the Liberation Tigers in the Eastern Province in collusion with Tamil para-militaries that is gravely endangering the ceasefire. Criticising the SL Government’s armed forces, particularly the military intelligence, for the fast deteriorating security situation in the eastern province, Mr. Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and political advisor of the LTTE, warned that the increasing tension has the potential of exploding into a full-fledged armed confrontation, if the government failed in its truce obligation to disarm the para-militaries.

In a special interview with the TamilNet Mr Balasingham explained the silent war in the East in the following terms.

Mr.Anton Balasingham."It is a well established fact that there are five Tamil para-military armed groups, including the Karuna group, who are paid and provided with logistic support by the Sri Lanka security forces in this covert military campaign to destabilise the Eastern province and to paralyse the LTTE’s political engagement in the region.", Mr. Balasingham said.

"The Colombo regime is fully aware of the situation. Yet, the government attempts to distort this violent phenomenon as an internal conflict within the LTTE arising from the split by the Karuna group. It is deeply disappointing to note that President Kumaratunga's government, which claims serious commitment to peace and negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict, has allowed its armed forces to support and sustain a shadow war of the Tamil para-militaries in grave violation of the truce agreement that could rekindle the civil war," Mr. Balasingham added.

The LTTE's political advisor dismissed the comments made by Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala, head of the Government’s Peace Secretariat, on disarming para-militaries as "absurd and ridiculous".

"Mr Dhanapala suffers from poverty of knowledge in so far as the reality of the ground situation is concerned," Mr Balasingham observed.

"Karuna’s group is not functioning from deep jungles of the East as Mr Dhanapala fantasizes. They are often operating from Sri Lanka military camps and their hide-outs are well protected by the armed forces. By providing sanctuary and support to Karuna and his group, the Sri Lankan military should assume direct responsibility for the bloody internecine warfare that is threatening the current peace process," Mr. Balasingham declared.

Mr. Balasingham called upon the international community, particularly the co-chairs of the peace process, to prevail upon the government of Sri Lanka to take urgent measures to disarm the Tamil paramilitary groups and to put an end to the shadow war that is fast eroding the truce agreement.

"A congenial situation conducive to the resumption of the peace process could be created once these Tamil armed groups are disarmed and a secure environment is created for the LTTE’s political cadres to carry out political work in the government controlled areas of the Northeast," Mr Balasingham observed.

 

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