Tigers say Akkaraipattu incidents instigated

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 October 2002, 12:50 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Thursday called on Muslims and Tamils identify divisive forces bent on creating chaos in Akkaraipattu. The Tigers issued a leaflet Thursday in the south-eastern town stating that the problem was instigated by evil elements for profit. “We will never disrupt the peace. This is certain. Some interested parties have hidden Abdul Wajid to achieve their selfish motives. Tamils and Muslims should resolve to live as brothers. We should always resolve our differences through negotiation”, the leaflet states.

Police declared curfew in Akkaraipattu Wednesday following tensions in the Muslim quarter of the town caused by the abduction of a youth called Abdul Wajid.

“Do not fall prey to the trickery of these elements and come forward to maintain Tamil Muslim unity”, the leaflet said.

Meanwhile, Tamil political sources in the town said that persons close to the SLMC MP, A. L. M Athaullah were involved in burning tires at the town’s main intersection during curfew and stoning Tamils.

A Muslim group in the neighbouring town Addalaichenai abducted two Tamil youth from Batticaloa who were on their way to Akkaraipattu Thursday morning. They were released later due the intervention of civil society groups there.

The sole Tamil MP for the Amparai District, Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru said he had called senior Police officers for the district and urged them to send more non-Muslim Policemen to the area to restore law and order as little had been done on Wednesday to enforce the curfew and stop the Muslim group led by Mr. Athaullah’s supporters from creating trouble.

A peace conference was convened at the Akkaraipattu Police station on Wednesday. The President of the Akkaraipattu Traders’ Association, members of the Amparai SLMM, Chandra Nehru, the heads of all the Mosque Trustee Boards of Akkaraipattu, members of the local Christian and Hindu clergy, Muslim community leaders and the head of the LTTE’s political division in Amparai, ‘Bawa’ took part in the meeting.

The members of the National Human Rights Commission who were in Akkaraipattu to inquire into the STF’s killing of seven civilians in Kanjirankudah were also invited to the conference.

LTTE officials said that Wajid appears to have been hidden with a view to precipitating a communal clash.

“We could not have got far in a vehicle without number plates in a Muslim town which is guarded on either approach by the Police. And none of us carry weapons in areas controlled by the Sri Lankan government forces”, Bawa said.

“The charge against us has been deliberately concocted by elements bent on disrupting the peace process”, he said.

 

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