PLOTE leader blames Tigers
[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Mr. T. Siddarthan, blamed the Liberation Tigers for the killing of group's parliamentarian for the Vavuniya district, Mr. Saravanapavananthan Shanmuganathan, 36, yesterday.
"Mr. Shanmuganathan is the only parliamentarian among the four representing the Vavuniya district, who hails from Vavuniya. We condemn the murder of Mr. Shanmuganathan, who had been working hard to help the people there, Mr. Siddarthan said.
Mr. Shanmuganathan was killed in a mine attack followed buy gun fire. His 3 year old son - Vathsanan, his relative - Thasisius and two body guards were also killed. (It was earlier reported that three body guards were killed)
Meanwhile Mr. Shanmuganathan's wife, Vinitha, 23, who was severely wounded in both legs has been admitted to the Vavuniya hospital, said sources in Vavuniya.
Three bodyguards who were wounded, one seriously, have been admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital, the sources added.
PLOTE, an ex-militant group, is predominantly active in the government controlled town of Vavuniya.
The group has a political wing, Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF) which is headed by the PLOTE's leader Mr. Siddarthan and a military wing, headed by Mr. Manikkathasan, who is also the PLOTE's second in command.
The PLOTE has a fortified camp in Vavuniya and they work with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in tracking down the Liberation Tigers.
This is the third in a series of attack on PLOTE's senior members.
On May 12, PLOTE's military wing leader for the Vavuniya district, Thas, alias Sinnathas was killed in a similar mine attack, a half kilo metre away from where the attack took place yesterday.
On June 8, unidentified gunmen who had come on a stolen van fired rocket propelled grenades at the residence of another PLOTE parliamentarian for Vavuniya, Mr. Vaithilingam Balachanthiran. However, no one was killed in this attack.
Ex-militant sources in Colomo said the killing of Shanmuganathan is the latest in the inter necine violence which erupted within the PLOTE following the land mine blast on May 12, which claimed the life of PLOTE's Vavuniya military commander, Mr. Thasan, a close aide of group's military wing leader Mr. Manikkathasan.
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