Tigers slam Sri Lankan state media for vicious propaganda

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 June 2004, 10:01 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Wednesday expressed serious concern about ‘malicious and false propaganda’ in Sri Lanka’s state controlled media regarding the situation in the Batticaloa district, during discussions with the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo. “If the Sri Lankan Government is honest in taking the LTTE as a sincere partner in the peace process, this type of clandestine media activity should stop forthwith”, Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan told the ambassador. There is yet no agreement on restarting the talks the ambassador told the press at the conclusion of the meeting.

Hans Brattskar meets Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan and his team

The Norwegian Ambassador met Mr. Thamilchelvan, head of the Tigers’ political division, and Mr. B. Nadesan, head of the Thamil Eelam Police Service at the LTTE Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi Wednesday morning.

The Norwegian ambassador briefed Mr. Thamilchelvan and Mr. Nadesan about the recent meeting of Sri Lanka aid donors in Brussels.

Mr. Thamilchelvan expressed concern over the lack of progress in taking forward the peace process. He had pointed out the lack of political will in Colombo to resume talks on a firm basis. Mr. Thamilchelvan raised serious concern that the cease-fire agreement is yet to be implemented fully to bring about normalcy and minimizing military violations. He re-emphasized the lack of a proper mechanism for the delivering humanitarian assistance to the war affected people in the northeast.

Mr. Thamilchelvan told Mr. Brattskar that the Sri Lankan state media, the Tamil service of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in particular, engaged in a vicious campaign of propagating false news about alleged confrontations in the east between Tigers and some breakaway elements of the LTTE.

The SLBC Tamil service is accommodating a one hour direct broadcast of malicious propaganda from the Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) London, a radio run by a former Tamil paramilitary group, Mr. Thamilchelvan said.

He said the vicious propaganda is aimed at maligning the LTTE and creating North-East regionalism among the listeners. The radio is vilifying the Tamil cause, he said.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Norwegian ambassador responded to questions from the local press.

“We are continuing discussions on the issue of the peace talks. I think that we still are some way away from agreeing on the modalities and the timing for talks. But, as facilitator, it is important for us with continuing discussions with both the parties. My visit today is a routine visit, one that I will continue to have”, Mr. Brattskar said.

Responding to a question regarding reports in Colombo media about incidents in the Batticaloa district, he said:

“We had also discussion on the situation in the East. There has been some concern as some segments of the media are giving some incorrect picture of what is happening in the east. Mr. Thamilchelvan presented his views on the goings on in the East and I will of course convey those to the government”.

Answering another question about the next stage of the peace process he said:

“This is a decision that needs to be taken by both the parties. We will continue go back and forth between the parties, as facilitator until there is an agreement between both the parties on the future steps. I feel we are not quite there, but we will continue our discussions. That is our role”.

“As I said earlier, we are yet to arrive at agreement about modalities, format and the timing regarding resuming the peace talks”.


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