4TH LEAD

Amparai LTTE commander orders release of 21 students

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 05:57 GMT]
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Amparai District Special Commander Ram has ordered immediate release of 21 students and 2 teachers who were found in the custody of an LTTE unit in Amparai Tuesday, LTTE's Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. The cadres were removed from operational duty and an internal investigation was on, the LTTE spokesman quoted Commander Ram.

The Tiger spokesman described the event as an "unfortunate episode."

The LTTE cadres had taken 21 students, 15 girls, 6 boys, their teacher and the owner of a private tutory from Vinayagapuram in Thirukkovil in Amparai district around 9:00 p.m. Monday while the students were attending a preparatory tuition for the ongoing GCE (O/L) examinations.

Sri Lankan military officials in Colombo were quick to blame the Tigers for the abduction Tuesday morning.

Earlier, when contacted by TamilNet, Ilanthirayan had said the LTTE was awaiting clarification from their District Command in Amparai.

"If any of our members are involved in outlawed activities, the punishment would be severe," Mr. Ilanthirayan had said after talking to Commander Ram.

The tutory is located on Old Post Office Road in Vinayakapuram, 27 km southeast of Amparai town.


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