LTTE denies warning to Tamil MPs

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 August 2001, 18:09 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Monday denied issuing a note circulating in the Jaffna peninsula warning Tamil MPs to quit the Sri Lankan Parliament and purported to originate from an organisation which the government says is a front of the LTTE. A notice issued by the ‘Sangiliyan Padai’ (Sangiliyan Army) on Saturday said those who refused “would not have an opportunity to regret their action.”

The Liberation Tigers’ chief negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, when contacted by TamilNet said he had discussed the matter with the LTTE’s leadership and said that “the LTTE or any of its associated organisations have not issued any such statement.”

Mr. Balasingham said that a Tamil paramilitary group working with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) had issued the notice to discredit the LTTE and to undermine Tamil MPs who are supporting efforts by Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) to impeach President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The note issued Saturday in Jaffna by the Sangilian Padai, said "nobody needs to argue the Tamil case in Parliament".

With the exception of the paramilitary Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), the Tamil parties in Parliament have been campaigning to pressure the Sri Lankan government to negotiate with the LTTE, which the parties have also endorsed as the sole representatives of the Tamil people. The parties have also urged the lifting of the ban on the LTTE.

More recently, the Tamil parties in Parliament have been strongly supportive of the pro-democracy movement led by the UNP, which is opposing President Kumaratunga’s proroguing of Parliament to thwart defeat in a UNP tabled no-confidence motion. The UNP and the Tamil MPs last month signed the no-confidence motion to be presented in Parliament. The reconvening of Parliament is at the centre of the joint opposition’s present efforts.


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