Peace delegation from Batticaloa to resolve Karuna crisis

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 March 2004, 02:40 GMT]
A delegation of religious and civil society leaders of Batticaloa, led by Bishop Rt. Rev. Kingsley Swampillai and Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, Dr. S. Raveendranath, will leave for Vanni Monday to hold discussions with the Liberation Tigers' leadership to peacefully handle the problem of renegade LTTE commander, Mr. Karuna, a senior LTTE official in Batticaloa told TamilNet Sunday night.

PTA meeting in Batticaloa
TamilNet Library Photo of Bishop Rt. Rev. Kingsley Swampillai
A meeting of religious and civil society leaders, academics and leading Tamil National Alliance politicians was convened in Batticaloa town Sunday evening to explore ways to peacefully settle the crisis precipitated by Mr. Karuna's decision to act independently of his leadership, an LTTE official in the eastern town told TamilNet.

"The people of Batticaloa are very eager that this problem should be resolved peacefully. We are very keen that the LTTE leader should reconsider his decision regarding Karuna," the LTTE official said.

"We hope that our national leader would consider the representations of the Batticaloa peace delegation in a favourable light," he said.

Mr. Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy, one of the Batticaloa TNA candidates who took part in the meeting said: "We are very hopeful Karuna will settle his differences with his leadership in the best interests of the Tamil people. Our chief concern is that the crisis should not be allowed to affect the outcome of the elections here."

Meanwhile, in a move widely scene as signalling compromise, Karuna told the BBC Tamil service that he is loyal to the LTTE leader, has never spoken against him and that his Batticaloa-Amparai group will never do anything traitorous that will endanger the progress of Tamil national struggle.


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