SLFP holds fourteenth party convention

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 June 2003, 01:18 GMT]
"I ordered the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to destroy the LTTE ship that carried weapons last Saturday to safeguard the country and its people," declared President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge addressing the fourteenth national convention of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the opposition People's Alliance (PA) Saturday evening at Nittambuwa in western province, political sources in Colombo said.

SLFP Convention
Ms. Kumaratunge said that she has received credible information that the LTTE is preparing for another war. The discussion she had recently with service commanders also confirmed this information, she said.

The United National Front government is helping the LTTE to smuggle weapons into the country under the cover of the ceasefire agreement. She cannot allow this go on forever and that's why she ordered to the Sri Lanka Navy to destroy the LTTE ship last Saturday in Mullaitivu Sea, Ms. Kumaratunge said.

She asked, "what's wrong in forging an alliance with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) when the ruling United National Party (UNP) can have talks with the LTTE?"

The annual convention was held at Nittambuwa Sangabodhi Vidyalaya. Earlier President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and his brother Mr.Anura Bandaranaike and SLFP leaders paid floral tribute to the founder the of the SLFP late leader Mr.S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike at Bandaranaike memorial which is located at Horgolla at Attanagalle, home electorate of Bandaranaike family, sources said.

SLFP Convention

Leader of the Opposition Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, former foreign minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, Mr.Anura Bandaranaike and several leaders of the SLFP participated at the conference.

The SLFP national organizer and the former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte participated at the convention with the permission of the Trial-at-Bar High Court, which is inquiring into the Udathalawinne massacre case. In this case General Ratwatte with his two sons Lohan and Chanuka and twelve others have been indicted with the murder of ten Muslim youths on the 2001 general election day in Kandy district.

SLFP Convention

Referring to the June 14 Saturday attack on LTTE ship off Mullaitivu coast in midsea, the defence Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone had previously told the Colombo based media that "the version given by the Sri Lanka navy contradicts what the LTTE is saying."

"We have to verify which version is true before taking the next course of action. We have given the responsibility of ascertaining this to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). The report from the SLMM is expected in about a week's time. The monitors are now in Trincomalee questioning those involved in the incident. Until we get a report I am not planning to initiate any investigation on our own," Defence Minister Mr.Marapone told Colombo media, sources said.

SLFP Convention

Referring to the dispute that the Defence Minister nor the Navy chief of Staff had not been informed of the sinking of the LTTE vessel in the sea, Mr.Tilak Marapone told media, "I was informed of the incident only around 7 a.m. However the incident took place at about 5 a.m. But the Sri Lanka navy could have informed me when they first sighted the LTTE vessel at 3.15 a.m."


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