Government's ability to prevent killings limited, says Mangala Samaraweera

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 February 2005, 07:46 GMT]
Cabinet Spokesman of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Freedom Alliance government Minister Mangala Samaraweera said Friday that although the government was taking all steps to prevent killings in the future, there was a limit to which it can prevent them. The killings took place between Sri Lanka army garrisons at Welikanda and Punanai on the Pollonnorawa-Batticaloa road Monday.

Speaking at the Cabinet Media briefing at the Government Information Department Auditorium, Minister Mangala Samaraweera condemned the recent killing of Batticaloa-Amparai district head of the LTTE's political wing, Mr. E.Kousalyan, former Tamil National Alliance MP Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru and other three LTTE officials.

Mr. Samaraweera said that the ambush on Kousalyan and his team could have been carried out by some factions that were working to sabotage the ceasefire agreement, but said that government was investigating into it.

The Minister said that "the LTTE has been behaving extremely well and in a matured manner in the phase of the recent killings", expressing his hopes that the recent killings would not disrupt the government's discussions with the LTTE to establish a suitable joint mechanism to distribute the post-tsunami relief assistance.

The Liberation Tigers said that the Kousalyan killing was "a serious set-back to relief and rehabilitation efforts and the peace process at large" in a press release issued on Tuesday.

Liberation Tigers also blamed paramilitary operatives working with the Sri Lankan armed forces for the attack, saying that "the location, its proximity to two SL military check-points and the uniformed position of the attackers are indicators to the nexus the assailants have with the military."

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) also questioned the possibility of such an attack in an area, which has a strong Armed Forces presence. "The question also arises as to who could have carried out such an attack without being deterred by the strong presence of Armed Forces in the said area", the TNA said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"The government cannot disclaim responsibility for an attack, which has occurred in government-controlled territory with a strong Armed Forces presence," the TNA statement added.

 

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