'SLMM unjust in asking the LTTE to remove camp' -Thamilchelvan
[TamilNet, Friday, 01 August 2003, 20:01 GMT]
Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, speaking to journalists at the LTTE secretariat in Sampur in Muttur East on Friday evening, said that there was no need for him to inspect the Kurankupanchan LTTE camp, which has been the subject of recent controversy, adding that the area had been under the LTTE's control for a long time and it was “unjust” for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission or the Sri Lankan Army to ask the LTTE to remove the camp.
Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, who arrived at Sampur by a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter
Friday around 4 p.m., said that the LTTE’s Trincomalee area commander, Col. Pathuman, had briefed him in full about the camp.
The SLAF helicopter carrying him was scheduled to land at the playground close to Sampur Maha Vidiyalayam, but it landed in a nearby area, which was gaily decorated with the LTTE’s yellow and red flags. The sudden change of venue deprived media persons from taking photos of Mr. Thamilchelvan’s arrival, sources said.
Mr. Thamilchelvan met with the Tamil journalists gathered at the
Sampur LTTE secretariat. Col. Pathuman and the district political head of the LTTE, Mr.Thilak, also accompanied Mr. Thamilchelvan at the press briefing.
Journalists posed several questions, including the status of the Kurankupanchchan
LTTE camp and the interim administrative structure proposals submitted
by the United National Front government of Sri Lanka to the LTTE.
Mr. Thamilchelvan said the LTTE camp at Kurankupanchchan had been there for a long period but the government troops did not know the existence of the camp for
several years, as they couldn’t go close to the LTTE held area during the war.
" We do not want to make a big issue out of this Kurankupanchan camp issue. But a section of the media and elements bent on disrupting the present peace initiative are using the
camp issue to the maximum to achieve their ends," said Mr. Thamilchelvan.
According to him, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission had believed the information supplied by the Sri Lanka Army at the first instance without verifying facts.
”The LTTE camp is located about 15 km away from the SLA camp. Col. Pathuman has already supplied a map that shows the areas in Trincomalee district under LTTE control,” he said.
Col. Pathuman interjected, "It is like asking us to leave our own house which has been in our control for a long time. We have the deeds. There is no need for us to leave the Kurankupanchchan area."
"It is advisable for the parties concerned to leave the matter aside," said Mr. Thamilchelvan. Col. Pathuman pointed out that the SLA has recently established a temporary camp just 4 km away from the Kurankupanchchan LTTE camp after this issue gained media attention.
Referring to the interim administrative structure proposals submitted by the
UNF government, the LTTE political head said that the proposal is
only a draft to recommence peace talks and they contain several shortcomings. " We have not rejected it but are studying it to add useful and concrete improvements that could satisfy the aspirations of the Tamil people," said Mr.Thamilchelvan.
Thamilchelvan with LTTE Trincomalee district commander Pathuman at the press briefing
LTTE political head Thamilchelvan speaking to the press
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