Karikalan, 23 Div. GOC meet
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 July 2002, 17:34 GMT]
Mr. N. Karikalan, senior official of the LTTE’s political division in the east, had discussions with the General Officer Commanding of the Sri Lanka army’s23 Division, Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennekoon on opening theA5 highway and rebuilding peaceful relations between Tamils and Muslims in the east at the Bishop's House in Batticaloa town Tuesday.
The A5 is one of the oldest highways in the island, the main road link between the east coast and the central hills of the island. The Liberation Tigers control the most of the A 5,which branches off from the Batticaloa Valaichenairoad at Chenkalady. The SLA controls the Black Bridgeat the approach to the road here. The A5 (also known as the Badulla Road) has been closed to general traffic between the other parts of the island and the east coast for more than 12 years.
The Liberation Tigers wrote to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on 26 June, urging it to use its good offices to help open the A5 for the convenience of the public.
Mr. Alisahir Moulana, ex-United National Party MP for Batticaloa, and counsellor for the Ministry of Plan Implementation and Policy Making discussed the opening of the A5 with Mr. Karikalan and Mr. Visu, the head ofthe LTTE’s polical division for Batticaloa/Ampara in the morning at the office of the Liberation Tigers in Thamaraikerni in Batticaloa town.
Mr. Moulana and the LTTE officials said there was broad agreement on the modalities of opening the road for public traffic.
The practical problems regarding the matter were later explored during the meeting in the afternoon at the Bishop House between Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennekoon, Lt.Col. V. R. L Anthoniz, SLA's Batticaloa commander, Mr.Aliasahir Moulana, Mr. N. Karikalan and Mr. Visu, the head of the LTTE's political division for Batticaloa /Amparai.
The question of how Islamic extremists had acquired weapons, including grenades was also reviewed at the meeting.
At the conclusion of the discussions, Mr. Karikalansaid: "We considered the practical means of rebuildingpeaceful relations between the Tamils and Muslims in the Valaichenai-Oddamavadi area with a view to consolidating the peace process further."
Asked whether the meeting was cordial and satisfactory, Mr. Karikalan said that the discussion centred on how to practically solve the problems of the public and strengthen the peace process.
"Our concern is with the implementation of the what we have discussed. We can say matters are satisfactory only when there is proper implementation," Mr. Karikalan said.
Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennekoon and Lt. Col. V. R. LAnthoniz enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Karialan’s view. Maj. Gen. Sunil Tennekoon called on the public in the district to abide by the law and observe public order. The Deputy Inspector General of the Sri Lanka Police (Eastern Range) Mr. Gaya Patikirikorale and Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Sisira Gunawardena were also present at the discussion.
|The General Officer Commanding of the Sri Lanka army's23 Division, Maj. Gen Sunil Tennekoon (left), ex.-United National Party MP for Batticaloa, Mr. Alisahir Moulana (centre), and Mr. Karikalan at the discussion Tuesday. |