LTTE condemns assassination of senior leader

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 September 2001, 13:09 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni Wednesday, strongly condemned the killing of one of its senior leaders, Colonel Shankar. The statement said the LTTE leadership "shares the Tamil people's outrage and treats the killing of a senior leader with utmost gravity."

The full text of the press release follows:

shanker_1-p.jpg"The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued from its headquarters in Vanni Wednesday, strongly condemned the killing of one of its senior leaders Colonel Shankar.

"A deep penetration commando unit of the Sri Lankan Army triggered a claymore mine on Col. Shankar's vehicle and he was killed on the spot. The incident occurred around 10.45 a.m. today near Oddusudan in the heart of Vanni, Northern Sri Lanka.

"Col. Shankar has been an active participant in the Tamil people's freedom struggle for nearly two decades. He was a close confidante of the LTTE leader, Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan and accompanied him in the first historic meeting in the Vanni with Oslo's Special Envoy, Erik Solheim, in November 2000.

"Provocatively, Col. Shankar's killing occurred on the anniversary of the death during hunger strike of Lt. Col Thileepan, a day of profound sadness amongst the Tamil people. The LTTE leadership shares the Tamil people's outrage and treats the killing of a senior leader with utmost gravity.

"Whilst maintaining to the international community that it is committed to a negotiated settlement, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's regime has repeatedly sought to sabotage the Norwegian peace initiative and continued its military operations. As a result of repeated Sri Lankan acts of aggression, formal and informal efforts to de-escalate the conflict have proved futile. The attack on Col Shankar and the date chosen for it highlights the Sri Lankan government's ongoing determination to seek the military option in solving the Tamil national question. Prospects for peace talks through Norwegian facilitation, stalled earlier through Colombo's efforts to sideline Mr. Solheim, have been further set back by the killing of this senior LTTE leader."

norway_ltte_meet_1_311000.jpg
from right: Colonel Shankar, Mr. Tamil Chelvan, the head of the LTTE's political section, Mr.Velupillai Pirapaharan, leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr.Erik Solheim, Norwegian peace envoy, Mr. Jon Westborg, the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Ms. Kjersti Tromsdal, an executive officer of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry in the northern Vanni October 31, 2000. (Library photo)


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