LTTE releases one SLA soldier in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 October 2002, 15:11 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Wednesday evening released one of the seven soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army at Kumburupiddy, 22 km north of Trincomalee. The seven SLA soldiers were arrested by the LTTE inside the security zone between two LTTE camps in Kumburupitty last week.

POW hand over, Trincomalee.
The head of the ICRC delegation in Trincomalee is helping the released SLA soldier, Deepal Samantha, to get into the ICRC vehicle.
"We have released one soldier on the instruction of our national leader on humanitarian grounds. We have made a request to the authorities concerned that two our members now in remand should be handed over to us to secure the release of other six SLA soldiers," said Mr.Tilak, LTTE Trincomalee district political head at the handing over event held at the Kumburupiddy rural development society hall in the LTTE held area.

Mr. Eehan, Kumburupiddy LTTE military wing leader handed over SLA soldier Mr.Deepal Samantha to the head of the sub-delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Ms Lina Milner in the presence of Mr. Abdul Burkhan, head of the Trincomalee Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Fr.George Dissanayake, SLMM coordinator in Trincomalee and ICRC official Mr. Duncan Bond.

Trincomalee town LTTE political head Mr. Rajesh, Kumburupiddy LTTE military wing head, Mr. Eehan, Kumburupiddy political head Mr. Sivakumar, Trincomalee LTTE office head Mr.Uthayapalan and activist Mr.Kalaiarasan also participated.

Mr.Tilak further said that under the Cease Fire Agreement signed by the Government and the LTTE, parties to the conflict couldn't enter the areas held by other party in uniform and also with arms. "We arrested seven SLA soldiers when they entered the LTTE held area with arms in uniforms," said Mr.Tilak.

POW hand over, Trincomalee.
LTTE Trincomalee district political head Mr.Tilak finalises the handing over of he SLA soldier with ICRC Trincomalee head Ms Lina Milner, SLMM head Mr.Abdul Burkhan, ICRC official Mr.Duncan Bond.
"Since the Cease Fire Agreement came into existence twenty-two of our cadres have been arrested by the security forces and Police. But we have not harassed SLA soldiers when in our custody. We treat them as our brothers. But, our members are handcuffed by the SLA, kept in police stations and remanded by courts. This is the difference between the SLA forces and us. Twenty of our members were later released on bail. Two of our members arrested on September 2 are still under judicial custody," said Mr.Tilak.

The released SLA soldier Mr.Deepal Samantha later told journalists who covered the event that the LTTE cadres looked after him very well like their own brother when in their custody.

The ICRC later handed the released soldier to the SLA authorities, sources said.


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