Minister Morogoda visits Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 October 2002, 11:31 GMT]
The Minister of Economic Reforms, Mr.Milinda Morogoda accompanied by the Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lt.General Lionel Balagalle and Peace Secretariat Secretary General Mr.Bernard Gunatilake visited Trincomalee Sunday morning and attended a top-level conference at the Police Headquarters. Later in the afternoon the party led by Minister Morogoda held talks with the Tamil National Alliance leader Mr.R.Sampanthan at latter's residence regarding the two LTTE members in remand and six SLA soldiers of the SLA in the custody of the LTTE.

On his arrival Sunday morning Minister Milinda Morogoda visited the relatives of six SLA soldiers who are on hunger strike near the clock tower junction in the heart of Trincomalee town since Thursday demanding the release of six soldiers now in the LTTE custody.

Mr.Sampanthan told Minister Morogoda during the forty-minute discussion that since the ceasefire came into operation the State armed forces had arrested twenty-two LTTE members in the SLA held areas in the Trincomalee district alone. Twenty of them were produced in courts and released. The other two are still in remand. "LTTE members do not show any resistance when they are arrested by state armed forces. They do not use their weapons. The State armed forces should consult the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission first before taking the arrested LTTE members to court. The SLMM should be first allowed to take a decision in this regard," said Mr.Sampanthan.

Regarding the incidents that took place Friday in Trincomalee town and its suburbs when a group of Sinhalese youths organised a general shut down (hartal) Mr.Sampanthan told the Minister that blocking vehicular movement with placing logs across the roads and burning tyres should not be allowed. Protestors can go on fast, conduct prayers and organize processions to support their demands. However they cannot block the roads bringing the vehicular movement in the town to a halt causing hardships to the people.

"Tamil people in Trincomalee feel that the police has taken a side on Friday by acting as idle spectators when a group of persons blocked roads with logs and burnt tyres thus disrupting the normalcy in the town", Mr.Sampanthan pointed out to Minister Milinda Morogoda.

Ruling party parliamentarian Yapa Abeyawardene, Commodore Ratnakeerthi, Naval Officer in charge in Trincomalee, the Deputy Inspector General of Police and several security officials participated in the discussions.

 

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