LTTE assures Muslim farmers
[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 July 2002, 11:47 GMT]
Muslim community welfare organisations have widely welcomed the Liberation Tigers' assurances that their safety in predominantly Tamil areas would be guaranteed and that there would be no restriction placed on their free movement or trade, Tamil press reports said.
Muslim farmers have resumed cultivating land their own in Tamil Tiger-controlled areas of the eastern province, the Thinakural newspaper reported.
The paper said Muslim community organisatiosn were pleased with LTTE assurances in the wake of the recent communal violence in Valaichchenai triggered by Muslim extremists. Around twelve hundred acres owned by Muslim farmers had been left unattended for the past three weeks after the clashes.
Meanwhile the Special head of the LTTE’s political section in Batticaloa - Ampara, Mr. Karikalan, assured Muslim farmers he met last week that they could return to their fields without concern and urged them to resume work as soon as they wished to.
Mr. Karikalan discussed matters
on July 11 with Muslims farmers who own plots in Vakaneri, around 35 km northwest of Batticaloa, at a meeting arranged by them at Kaavathamunai Mookarkal junction following requests from Muslim community leaders. The meeting was also addressed by Mr. Visu, head of the LTTE’s political section in Batticaloa - Ampara, as well as Muslim community leaders.
Mr Karikalan said the Tamil Tigers had not forgotten the assistance they received from Muslims in the Ootamavadi areas during the conflict with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). Mr. Karikalan blamed the recent Tamil-Muslim violence on the work of a extremists intent on fomenting ethnic strife.
The Liberation Tigers’ political cadres are working to address these issues, he said. Concluding his comments, Mr. Karikalan called on both communities to forget the past and live together.