Religious leaders meet Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 February 1999, 22:01 GMT]
S.P.Thamilchelvan, the leader of the Liberation Tigers' political wing told a team of religious leaders visiting the Vanni today, that the importance of seeking peace should be impressed on the Sri Lankan government and its security forces, sources in the Vanni said.

The group of Buddhist clergymen, and Muslim and Christian leaders went to the Vanni yesterday and met representatives of the Liberation Tigers at Mallavi this morning according to the sources.

thamilchelvan_1-p.jpgThamilchelvan had pointed out to the religious leaders that President Chandrika Kumaratunge had spent the 4 years of her office duping the world and the Sinhala masses with false images of peace such as 'a war for peace', 'preparations to end the war' and a political 'package'.

He said that the Sri Lankan military operations, displacement and disappearing of people, killings of Sinhala and Tamil youths had all reached a peak during the past four years.

He stressed that the necessity for peace should be impressed on the government and its forces and that it is not necessary to tell the island's people or the Liberation Tigers, as they are well aware of this.

The visiting religious leaders said that the Tigers should come for a peace settlement with the government.

While answering the religious leaders, Tamilchelvan said that the Tamils are waging a war to protect themselves. It is the government that conducts the war, he said. Therefore it is the duty of the government to stop the war and come forward to establish peace he said.

He said that first of all, the SLA should withdraw from the occupied territory and allow the displaced people to return and live in their own homes. This will be the first step to bring peace in the country he said.

The displaced people are leading a deplorable life under the trees, amidst the jungle, in schools, temples, and on the roadside without proper lodgings, food and other basic needs he said.

Thamilchelvan requested the religious team to reveal the real situation, the sufferings of the people in the Vanni, to the people of the south to whom he said the government had given a wrong perception of the Tamils.

He also requested them to strive to find an end to the war.

Ananayake Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter, Udugama Udagiratha Nayaka Thero, Amarapura Nikaya Anunayake Thero, Thalala Dhammaloka Nayaka Thero, Professor Dr.Kumburugamuwa Vachchiranayaka Thero, Angilican Bishop Rev.Kenneth Fernando, Ratnapura Catholic Bishop Rev.Malcom Ranjith and Rev.Fr.Antony Cyril were among the religious leaders who visited the Vanni.

Earlier, the religious team visited many schools in the Mannar district in Madhu area where the displaced people had sought refuge and inquired about their difficulties and problems.

Representatives of Vanni Citizen Committee and the Consortium of the Non Governmental Organizations in Kilinochchi district met the team and explained the situation of the displaced people in the Vanni.

Later the team conducted a joint mass at Madhu according to the sources in Vanni.

 

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