‘Would have shot down Patten’s copter’ – Sihala Urumaya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 November 2003, 09:56 GMT]
"If we had an anti aircraft missile we wouldn’t have hesitated to shoot down the helicopter in which Mr. Chris Patten would be travelling to Kilinochchi to meet the LTTE leader," said Mr. Tilak Karunaratne, the leader of the ultra Sinhala nationalist Sihala Urumaya party, in comments published Wednesday in the Sinhala extremist daily Divaina. President Kumaratunga’s uncle publishes the paper, which enjoys wide readership among the Singhalese.

"People of the northeast are not paying taxes to the government. The taxpayers in the south are paying for Chris Patten’s visit to Kilinochchi. We are condemning this. We should stop this treacherous act. Even after President took over defence the controversial Manirasakulam camps remains. We appeal to the President to take appropriate action (to remove the LTTE camp south of Trincomalee)," Mr. Karunaratna was quoted in the Divaina as saying.

He charged that Maj. Gen. Sarath Foneseka was transferred from his post as the Sri Lankan armed forces commander to please the Liberation Tigers, according to the Divaina.

The national organiser of the Sinhala Urumaya, Mr. Champika Ranawaka deplored the 2 billion cut in the 2004 budget of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government, the Divaina said.


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