SLA readies for Manalaru offensive, Tigers warn of bloodbath

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 March 2007, 12:07 GMT]
"We are aware that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has amassed military hardware close to Manalaru in preparation for a major offensive towards Mullaitivu area. Consequence of this offensive will be a catastrophic bloodbath across Sri Lanka," said Mr. Thamilchelvan, Head of LTTE Political Wing, speaking to TamilNet after meeting the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Hans Brattskar and Norwegian Embassy official Erik Nuremberg, in Kilinochchi Monday.

LTTE's Military Spokesperson, Irasiah Ilanthirayan, Director of LTTE'S Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan, LTTE's Human Rights Spokesperson N. Selvy, accompanied Thamilchelvan to the meeting at LTTE's Political Headquarters in Kilinochchi.

The Norwegian Ambassador is scheduled to visit the Killinochchi Hospital, Educational officials and the North East Secretariat of Human Rights later in the day and return to Colombo on Tuesday, LTTE officials said.

Full text of LTTE political head's interview with TamilNet follows:

TamilNet: There has been no offensive operations by Tigers to counter the Sri Lankan offensives so far. Is there any specific political reason for not engaging in offensives?
Thamilchelvan: Colombo has openly violated, not only the clauses of the CFA, but also the spirit of the CFA. Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and several Ministers in his Government have gone on open record, expressing views against the spirit of the CFA. They have repeatedly contradicted the expressed standpoints and concerns of the International Community.

All the major clauses of the CFA agreement have been violated by Colombo. Further, catastrophic humanitarian conditions have been thrust upon the Tamil people, in the territories under Sri Lankan military occupation, where people are forced to live in open imprison. Our attempts at safeguarding the CFA have ended in failure. Despite provocations from Colombo, we have desisted from engaging offensively against the Sri Lankan forces.

We have exercised tolerance at high cost.

We sincerely believe that the International Community has realized our tolerance has reached its limits. We warn that Colombo is courting national disaster by misinterpreting our patience for military weakness.

TamilNet: The aerial strikes and DPU attacks have been escalating in Vanni. Do you think that Colombo is preparing for a major offensive towards Vanni?
Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan
Political Head of the LTTE S. P. Thamilchelvan

Thamilchelvan: Yes, we have affirmative indications from our Military Command for Manalaru area and reports from our intelligence sources that Sri Lankan military has deployed military hardware and troops in Manalaru area, in preparation of a major offensive. Our forces have been placed on high alert across Vanni.

Colombo would plunge the entire island into a bloody war by engaging its troops in this dangerous exercise.

I can only state that this would have far reaching consequences to the peace efforts being promoted by the International Community. We hope that the International Community values our tolerance demonstrated by our liberation movement, and understands the limits of the patience.

TamilNet: You have said earlier that you would interpret major offensives as declaration of war?
Thamilchelvan: The time has come for the International Community to demand a formal response from the Sri Lankan state for why it is hesitating to formally break the CFA when it is fully engaged in war in the east and launch an offensive on our rear base in parallel.

TamilNet: How do you view the military and financial assistance to Sri Lanka from foreign powers with competing interests?
Thamilchelvan: The International Community, has taken a passive stand instead of sending a strong message to Sri Lanka, by stopping all financial and military assistance.

While maintaining only lip service to peace and good governance, military assistance is being continued in various forms. If military assistance is provided to safeguard the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, which effectively means protecting the sovereignty of Sri Lankan state, the assistance is interpreted by the Tamil people as offending Tamils' sovereignty.

The International Community has failed to express its displeasure with Mahinda Rajapakse's doctrine, the Mahinda Chintana, which rejects the fundamental tenets for a peaceful negotiated settlement. They [the International Community] express hope when the humanitarian situation is out of control. Simple expressions of hope will not alleviate the disastrous humanitarian situation.

Our tolerance was aimed at providing an opportunity for the International Community to review their policy of passive support to the Sri Lankan oppressor. Our hope was that they would realize that this policy is detrimental to the dignified existence of the Tamil people in their homeland.

TamilNet: Colombo has lately said that 54% of Tamils were living under its control and that the LTTE can no longer solely represent Tamils in negotiations?
Thamilchelvan: This is part of Sri Lanka's disinformation campaign. The Tamil people it claims to have under its control are kept in open prisons by the occupying Sri Lankan forces. Human Rights violations are escalating at an unprecedented rate with abductions and killings in Sri Lanka Army controlled areas.

The Tamil people, including those in Sri Lanka military occupied areas, have clearly given their mandate to our representation in the elections held in 2004.

We are prepared to support an opinion poll in the Tamil homeland, administered by the International Community, to substantiate this claim.

In Kilinochchi today, ahead of Hans Brattskar's meeting with educational officials, students and staff of schools protested against the deteriorating conditions in educational establishments in the Northeast. A principal was killed on the spot and an educational officer succumbed to his injuries from Claymore attack carried out by the Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) of the Sri Lanka Army in the LTTE controlled Madu division in Mannar recently.

Related Articles:
01.03.07   Mannar Education Officer succumbs to injuries
27.02.07   DPU ambush kills School Principal in LTTE territory


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