Covert moves to scuttle peace in east – Karikalan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 February 2002, 21:51 GMT]
“Corrupts elements in the Sri Lanka army and paramilitary groups operating with it are making covert attempts in the east to scuttle the peace negotiations between the Tigers and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe’s government”, said the deputy leader of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. Karikalan, addressing a press conference Sunday in Kokkaddicholai, 14 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa.

karikalan_2.jpg
The deputy leader of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. Karikalan (Photo TamilNet)
“Although no one has complained recently to the ICRC or Sri Lanka’s human rights commission that we have forcefully conscripted anybody, it is still our wish to see that we are not maligned further by reports and rumours that our organisation is forcing youth to join”, Mr. Karikalan said.

Addressing the press in response to questions about the peace process and recruitment, Mr. Karikalan observed: “In this context the LTTE would like to underscore the fact that it was our military resistance that ultimately impelled the Sri Lankan state to begin peace talks with us.”

“The SLA’s attitude towards our peace gestures was such that it began one of its biggest offensives to date less than an hour after the ceasefire we declared and extended unilaterally since December 2000 expired.”

“None one would have been talking about peace for the Tamil people today if we didn’t have the military power to withstand the massive SLA operation against the LTTE in April last year”

“The UNF government is currently recruiting men for the SLA to enhance its military strength. And there are reports that the Sri Lanka Navy is purchasing gunboats from Israel. A government minister and his supporters are promoting a hundred day development program for the army”.

“Nevertheless, our desire is that peace should be a mutually productive process for the benefit of our people”, Mr. Karikalan said.

Questioned about the alleged harassment of Muslim people in the east Mr.Karikalan said, that the LTTE wants to maintain friendly and harmonious relationship with the Muslim people, and the LTTE will fight for their political rights also.

The Batticaloa correspondents for the Tamil dailies, Virakesari, Thinakaran, Thinakkural, Sudar Oli, Uthayan (Jaffna), Thinakkathir (Batticaloa) and Eelamurasu, the IBC – Tamil, Shakthi radio and TV, the BBC, the ABC (Asian Broadcasting Corporation), the CTBC (Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation) and TamilNet were present at Mr. Karikalan’s briefing Sunday.

 

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