TNA requests India to release 'VAIKO'
[TamilNet, Friday, 12 July 2002, 17:22 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance has appealed to the Indian government and the Tamil Nadu state government to release Vaiko Y.Gopalasamy, leader of the Makkal DMK and others who have been arrested. "The arrest of 'VAIKO' on the ground that he was supportive of the LTTE and his being remanded causes deep anguish to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka," said in a statement issued by the TNA Friday.
The statement signed by the parliamentary group leader of the TNA Mr.R.Sampanthan further states: -
"The TNA expresses it's deep shock and disappointment at the arrest of Mr. Y.Gopalasamy- popularly referred to as " Vaiko" the leader of the MDMK and a prominent members political leader in Tamil Nadu
"VAIKO has frequently spoken up on behalf of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and demanded that there should a just and durable solution to the Tamil question. He has also publicly articulated the view that the armed struggle in Sri Lanka was the consequence of the failure to evolve an acceptable solution and that therefore there was justification for such armed struggle.
"By reason of the ceasefire agreement signed between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE, the armed conflict in Sri Lanka has been terminated, and efforts are being made to commence negotiations towards peaceful resolution with the assistance of an international third party facilitator. The international community including India has extended their full support to these efforts. The vast majority of people in Sri Lanka irrespective of ethnicity are fully supportive of these efforts.
"The arrest of VAIKO in these circumstances on the ground that he was supportive of the LTTE and his being remanded causes deep anguish to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It would be relevant to note that the Tamil people in the northeast of Sri Lanka at the general elections overwhelmingly endorsed the policy that negotiations should only take place between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.
"We appeal to both the Indian central government and the Tamilnadu government to taken steps expeditiously to release VAIKO and others who have been arrested and detained.
"Such step would be a recognition of the ongoing peace process in Sri Lanka."