'Last chance for peace' - Karikalan

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 May 2002, 08:36 GMT]
"This is the last chance for peace. The Sri Lankan government should firmly grasp this opportunity and make the most of it to settle the conflict. We, the Liberation Tigers, are resolutely committed to peace.

"But if the peace talks were to be scuttled and fighting breaks out again, it would be the last war. This is why we reiterate that a peaceful negotiated settlement to the conflict can help us all live in peace," said Mr. S. Karikalan, the first senior leader of the Liberation Tigers to enter a Sri Lanka army held area in the northeast province of the island after the signing of the ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the LTTE on 24 February 2002, addressing a meeting Monday morning in Chenkalady, 16 kilometres north of Batticaloa.

karikal_chenkalady_1_200502.jpg
Mr.S.Karikalan, addressing a meeting in Chenkalady, Monday. (Photo:TamilNet)
Mr. Karikalan entered the SLA held Chenkalady town through the Black Bridge around 9.30 a.m. accompanied by Ms. Bhanuka, the leader of the Women's section of the LTTE's political division for Batticaloa and Ampara, 'Reggie', the military commander of the Aandaankulam Sector (Batticaloa North) and Mr. Nizam, the officer in charge of the LTTE's economic development organisation for Batticaloa and Ampara.

Mr. Karikalan was welcomed by the people of the town, Mr. Gnanamuttu Krishnapillai, Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa, NGO representatives, government officials and local community leaders.

A public meeting was held on the grounds of the Chenkalady Central College around 10 a.m.

Speaking further Mr.Karikalan said: "Our people have endured immense deprivation, death and destruction in the war waged on us by the Sri Lankan state. But our leader will never compromise our rights for concessions from the Sri Lankan state. He will always remain committed to the struggle for achieving the legitimate rights of the Tamil people. Our national leader is not only adept in the art of war but he is also skilled in the methods democratic struggle. He has clearly shown that it is possible to find a solution to the conflict through peaceful means too. We are calling on all youth over 18 to join us for political work. You stood by us in the liberation struggle. We have come to work among the Tamil people and to serve them politically."

Mr. Karikalan left for Batticaloa after the meeting. He is scheduled to open a political office of the LTTE in Kallady, a southern suburb of Batticaloa town later in the day.

 

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