TNA: Sri Lankan forces unwilling to protect Tamils
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 October 2002, 15:18 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance Friday blamed the gun and grenade attacks on
Tamil civilians in Trincomalee which left three people dead and over thirty
wounded on "lawless elements" from the Sinhala community. In a statement,
the TNA said the Sri Lankan armed forces, which are predominately Sinhala,
"lack the will and capacity to provide security to the Tamil people."
The full text of the TNA's press release follows:
"A peaceful hartal was held at Trincomalee this morning as an expression of sympathy with the Tamil victims of shooting at Kanchirankuda in Thirukovil on the 9th October.
"While the hartal was in progress peacefully, a group lawless elements from Srimapura in Trincomalee town charged grenades and opened fire on Tamils in the adjoining hamlet of Thirukdaloor. Some time later yet another group of lawless elements from Abeyapura also in Trincomalee town similarly charged grenades and opened fire at Tamils in the Anpuvallipuram area, between Abeyapura and Anuradhapura junction.
"The result of the aforesaid incidents is that as of now, 3 Tamils have been killed and 36 other Tamils have been injured, 9 of them critically. It is also reported that in the course of the said attacks by the said lawless elements, 2 police officers have sustained minor injuries.
"The fact that there have been 39 Tamil causalities, of which 3 have been fatal thus far, speaks loudly and clearly of the violence that has been unleashed against the Tamils by some lawless elements of the majority community, not even one of whom has even been injured.
"We convey our deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and injured.
"We strongly condemn this cowardly attack on innocent Tamils. These attacks are yet another deliberate attempt to disrupt the peace process.
"While expressing our appreciation to the Tamils for not having retaliated against these cowardly acts, we appeal to the Tamil people to maintain calm, even in the face of grave provocation, and not to play into the hands of evil forces, attempting to disrupt the peace process.
"We also wish to point out to the government, that particularly the lower rungs of the armed forces, who are 99 percent from the majority community, and the police force who are more than 95 percent from the majority community, clearly lack the will and capacity to provide security to the Tamil people and this grave deficiency needs to be addressed at the earliest. It is the duty of the Government to take steps to ensure that Tamil civilians are not subjected to such cowardly attacks.
"If the ceasefire agreement, is to serve its’ purpose, the arm of the law should bring under its’ control, cowards who have become emboldened by the ceasefire agreement.
"We call upon the government to conduct an impartial investigation and bring to book those responsible for these grave crimes
"We also urge the government to compensate the families of those killed and injured."