Tamil groups squabble at military meeting
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Brig. C.M Thilakaratna who is in charge of the SLA's civil administration division in Jaffna called separate meetings with the Tamil parties contesting the local polls today to discuss propaganda facilities.
He told the groups that all chief candidates in the local polls would be granted ten minutes each to speak on Rupavahini, the state owned TV station.
The groups had requested that they also be given air time to speak on the special Tamil service of the state run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation which broadcasts to the peninsula from the KKS-Palaly military base complex.
Meanwhile Maj. General Shantha Koddegoda, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Div.51 called another meeting about security in the area which comes under his purview during the campaigning and polling.
The commanders of the five brigades within his division, along with a representative from the Sri Lankan Navy, were present at the meeting.
The main issue discussed was the manner in which the EPDP is preventing the other groups from campaigning in the islands - Kayts, Punguduthivu, Delft etc.
The EPDP made a suggestion that it could provide protection for the other groups if they wanted to work there in safety.
However, the EPRLF, according to a source, took very strong exception to this and demanded of the EPDP that it acknowledge that its cadres were officially working as part of the Sri Lankan army and hence pull out of the contest.