PLOTE training causes panic

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 November 1998, 18:53 GMT]
The military training of the PLOTE cadres near the Vavuniya town made the public panic and shocked the soldiers on duty at the nearby road blocks this morning. The incident took place around 6.30 a.m. today at the irrigation reservoir at Rambaikulam about 2 km east of Vavuniya town.

During the training the people around the area have heard reports of gunfire. As the civilians were not prepared to hear the reports of guns, they thought that something serious is taking place due to the 'Maaveerar Day' (Heroes' Day) of the Liberation Tigers. Residents said more than hundred PLOTE cadres were engaged in the military training.

Meanwhile the civilians in the Sinhala village 4 km east of Vavuniya town experienced the same sort of experience two days ago.

A group soldiers who were on duty at a nearby checkpost rushed to the area on hearing several gun shots being fired. Although they sighed in relief to learn it was only a military training of a number of PLOTE cadres during the daytime, they were confused as to why the soldiers and the public in the area were not notified by the officers concerned.

When questioned by the media, N.Manikkathasan the military wing leader of PLOTE said that it was a practice of any armed group to conduct military training time to time like this and there was nothing new or nothing to panic because the army officials in Vavuniya had been already notified about this sort action of the PLOTE.

He denied the alleged dissatisfaction over his groups activities among the public in the area. He was interviewed by the Tamil service of the London BBC.


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