2nd lead (add photos)
‘Claims of 13 camps after MoU totally unfounded’ -LTTE
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 September 2003, 19:29 GMT]
The Trincomalee district military commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Col. Pathuman, and the district political head, Mr.Thilak, Friday jointly made an appeal to the Sinhalese and Tamil journalists in the Trincomalee district to inform the international community and people of the country that there was not an iota of truth in the allegation spread by anti-peace elements that the LTTE had constructed thirteen new camps in the government controlled areas in the district since the signing of the ceasefire agreement.
"The LTTE needs the assistance of the media to take forward the peace process,
thwarting all attempts by the anti-peace elements, which are now very active
in derailing the peace process by spreading baseless and totally unfounded allegations,” said Col. Pathuman and Mr.Thilak. “And one such allegation is the establishment of 13 LTTE camps in the Sri Lanka Army controlled areas in the Trincomalee district after the signing of the ceasefire agreement (CFA)."
LTTE district military commander Pathuman and political head Thilak addressing the press conference
"Not a single camp has been constructed by the LTTE after signing the CFA
in the SLA-controlled areas in the Trincomalee district. You can go
and see the places where the peace opponents had alleged that new LTTE
camps had been constructed after the ceasefire agreement," said Col. Pathuman in reply to a question.
This was the first time Trincomalee LTTE leaders held a press conference
for Sinhalese and Tamil journalists in the district, which was held at
the Sampoor LTTE political secretariat, sources said.
Mr.Thilak at the commencement of the press briefing said that the
conference had been summoned to brief the media personnel to bring the
truth to the world.
"We discharge our duties militarily and politically according to the
direction and guidelines set by our national leader since the signing of
the ceasefire agreement," said Col. Pathuman. “We encourage the peace process and we are against elements that are opposed to it."
LTTE political secretariat in Sampoor where the press conference was held Friday
He said because of a mistaken determination by the Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission, the Kurankupanchan camp problem has become a controversial issue
at present. He reiterated that the Kurankupanchan camp has been in existence since long before the signing of the ceasefire agreement.
"In fact, we wanted to have this press briefing in our Kurankupanchan camp. But due to some transport problems, we could not arrange it there," said Col. Pathuman.
He expressed concern over the “false propaganda by elements that are working hard to derail the present peace process.” These anti-peace elements, said Col. Pathuman, “count our political offices established after the ceasefire agreement as our military camps.”
In reply to a question regarding the misunderstandings and tension between Tamils and Muslims in the district, Col. Pathuman said the involvement of Muslim politicians from
outside the district were the cause for the misunderstanding between Tamils and Muslims in Muttur.
Col. Pathuman denied that the LTTE was involved in killing of members of the paramilitary Eelam People Democroatic Party (EPDP) and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF). He said the killing of EPDP and EPRLF (Varathar wing) members are taking place in Sri Lankan government controlled areas and not in LTTE controlled areas." We are answerable if the killings of members of these groups took place in our controlled areas," said Col. Pathuman in reply to a question.
Colonel Pathuman and Thilak with Sinhalese journalists at the Sampoor press conference
12.09.03 PA, UNF trade charges over claims of new Trinco LTTE camps
11.09.03 SL govt. rejects PA claims of new Trinco LTTE camps