NLF decries induction of foreign troops

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 January 2005, 18:17 GMT]
The New Left Front (NLF), a vocal leftist group, in statement signed by the group's leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne and issued in Colombo Monday, condemned the induction of foreign troops into Sri Lanka in the guise of helping the tsunami victims. In a strongly worded statement the New Left Front said 'it is totally unnecessary to commit troops' for relief work and accused the US of having its own agenda of gaining a foothold with designs to suppress the LTTE and control the Tamil liberation struggle on behalf of local capitalist rulers."

Dr. Vickramabahu KarunarathneIt also provides an opening for the US not only to arm-twist Sri Lanka to go along with "global capitalism, but also to use Sri Lanka's strategic location to consolidate its neo-colonial agenda all the more blatantly," NLF's statement added.

Karunarathne had called upon all "oppressed people and the left and democratic forces to protest strongly against the induction of foreign troops to Sri Lanka under cover of relief and rescue operations.

Meanwhile, a contingent of 42 US marines arrived today in two aircraft. They were in addition to the dozen who arrived during the week end to prepare for the arrival of about 1500. US marines arrived in Sri Lanka as foreign military aid efforts picked up US marines would be deployed in reconstruction work, a US embassy officials said.

A multi purpose assault ship, five hovercraft and 20 helicopters will provide logistic support to the marines who are expected to be based near the Colombo international airport.

A British military vessel, HMS Chatham, arrived in Colombo early Monday.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are also sending their navy ships.

India had earlier sent 1,000 Indian military personnel, a 45 bed floatinghospital in addition to five Navy vessels and six MI-17 Indian Air Force helicopters. They are stationed at the Galle and Trincomalee ports.

India is concerned about the arrival of US and British ships, observers said.

A Sri Lanka Government spokesperson said foreign troops would only be deployed to do relief work.

 

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