Up-country Tamils support struggle in NE -UNF minister
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 February 2002, 19:18 GMT]
More than thirty thousand people took part in the 'Pongu Thamil' rally in Batticaloa Wednesday. "The Tamil people are struggling for the right to live. The Tamils are asking for the right to live like the other people of the world. The Tamils of the hill country express their solidarity with the struggle of the Tamils of the north and east," said Mr. P. Chandrasekeran, Minister for Estate Infrastructure, addressing the Pongu Thamil rally Wednesday.
This will be the last talks for peace in Sri Lanka. If this were to fail then peace negotiations can be held only in the separate state of Eelam", said Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandranehru, Tamil National Alliance for Ampara, in his speech. The Sri Lanka army meanwhile barred five lorry loads of people who came for the rally at the Vavunathivu Bridge, 4 kilometres west of Batticaloa.
Tamil National Alliance MPs for Batticaloa, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Mr. T. Thangavadivel, and Mr. Gnanamutu Krishnapillai (Vellimalai), the Jaffna TNA MP Mr. N. Raviraj and Mr. Suresh Premachandran, the leader of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, also addressed the rally.
Mr. P. Chandrasekeran unveiled the Pongu Thamil memorial at the conclusion of the rally.
Mr. Suresh Premachandran met the deputy leader of the LTTE's political wing Mr. Karikalan at the district secretariat in Kokkaddicholai later in the day.