"Rules for islands humiliating, wont enter" - LTTE
[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 21:43 GMT]
"We will not enter the islands of Jaffna in compliance with the conditions that the Sri Lanka Navy has imposed on us now. The Navy's action is aimed at further subverting the peace process and creating a fear psychosis among the people of the islands," said Mr. Ilamparithi, the head of the political office of the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna, responding Thursday to the 12 conditions stipulated by the Sri Lanka Navy for allowing his colleagues to engage in political work in the islands of the northern peninsula.
"Sri Lankan officials were initially agreeable to letting us work in the islands with few conditions. But the stringent rules they have come up with now shows a sinister motive. Some of the conditions are quite plainly meant to humiliate and criminalise us," Mr. Ilampairithi told the TamilNet's Jaffna correspondent.
The SLN earlier declared the islands of Pungudutheevu, Nainatheevu, Eluvaitheevu, Analaitheevu, Mandaitheevu and Karainagar as military zones which the Tigers were prohibited from visiting under the terms of the ceasefire accord signed in February this year.
The Liberation Tigers raised strong objections to the SLN declaration on the grounds that many thousands of Tamil civilians live on these islands and they need to engage in political work among them.
The Sri Lanka Navy and the Eelam People's Democratic Party, the well-armed paramilitary group which is a close ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, control the islands together. Tamil politicians allege that both share profits from the produce of the land and the sea here.
30.05.02 Islands imbroglio continues amid new conditions