Paramilitaries handover weapons partly
[TamilNet, Monday, 25 March 2002, 20:50 GMT]
Tamil paramilitary groups operating with the Sri Lanka army began handing over a section of the weapons in their possession from Sunday in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The EPDP, a close ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, turned in the largest number of weapons to the SLA on Sunday, including mortars and Rocket Propelled Grenades. Addressing the function to mark the handing over of weapons by the EPDP Sunday, Sri Lanka's Security Forces Commander for Jaffna said that the group had rendered yeoman service to the army to fight the war in the north.
| Bishop of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Rt.Rev.Kingsley Swampillai addressing the function to mark the handing over of weapons by Tamil paramilitary groups at 23-3 Brigade HQ in Batticaloa, Monday. (Photo: TamilNet)|
The PLOTE handed over 67 T 56 assault rifles, three pistols and seven thousand rounds of live ammunition at the SLA's 23-3 brigade headquarters in Batticaloa town Monday.
Brigadier D. Ratnasabapathy, General Officer of Commanding (GOC), Trincomalee district Sunday afternoon accepted firearms from EPDP, PLOTE, EPRLF (Suresh wing) and EPRLF (Varathar wing) at their respective offices in the east port town.
Trincomalee Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Sunil Perera, Kantalai Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. W. P. W. Ayubala, Chief Secretary of the Northeast Provincial Council Mr. G. Krisuhnamoorthy, Trincomalee Government Agent Mr.N.H.K.Nelumdeniya were also present at the handing over function held at the EPDP's office.
District Organizers of EPDP, PLOTE, EPRLF (S) and EPRLF (V) T.Pushparaja, Ashok, Ragunathan and Sinnathurai (Sivam) handed their weapons to the GOC, Trincomalee Brigadier Ratnasabapathy at their respective offices.
| A section of the weapons handed over by Tamil paramilitary groups in Batticaloa, Monday. (Photo: TamilNet)|
The MoU states "Tamil para military groups shall be disarmed by the Government of Sri Lanka by D-day+ 30 at the latest ". The Prime Minister and the LTTE leader signed the MoU on February 22.
However, Tamil National Alliance politicians in Jaffna and Batticaloa charge that the no one except the SLA knows the exact number of weapons in the possession of the Tamil paramilitary groups operating in the north and east.
"There should be a very strong mechanism to see that these paramilitary groups are not instigated to deploy weapons they most probably own covertly now to scuttle the peace process," said Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, TNA MP for Batticaloa.