LTTE, SLA discuss Batticaloa incidents

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 18:32 GMT]
"The Sri Lanka army should supervise the activities of the paramilitary groups and keep them under control. Recent incidents in Batticaloa appear to be aimed at casting aspersions on us and confounding the peace process. Agent provocateurs have been attempting to derail the peace process in the east by instigating violence against communities in Valaichenai, Mutur and Akkaraipattu and by staging abduction dramas," said T.Ramesh, LTTE’s special commander for the Batticaloa-Amparai region, at the conclusion of a discussion with the Sri Lankan armed forces near the eastern town.

"The world is carefully watching each move we make. We are acting with great caution in this context," he added.

"We condemn the insidious attempts to blame us for recent incidents in which paramilitary operatives have been reported missing. The Sri Lanka army operative known as 'Cashier' who allegedly went missing on Friday was in a crowded neighbourhood well secured by the Sri Lanka military and Police. He was in the midst of many people. It would not have been possible for anyone to abduct him secretly from such a place in broad daylight," Ramesh said.

An LTTE delegation comprising the head of the Tigers' political division for Batticaloa/ Amparai, Mr. E. Kousalyan, head of administration Mr. Reginald and head of LTTE's finance division for Batticaloa, Mr. Suvi, led by commander Ramesh had discussions with a delegation of Sri Lankan armed forces, led by the commander of the 23 Division, Brigadier Sumith Balasuriya. The commander of the Batticaloa's 23-3 brigade, Col. Rajiva de Silva, Special Task Force officer Upul Seniveratne, Superintendent of Police for Batticaloa, A. M Keeragala and other officers were in the Sri Lankan armed forces delegation.

The meeting took place in the no man's land in Vavunathivu, five kilometers southwest of Batticaloa town, Monday from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"We want to build on the understanding that has developed between us and the Sri Lankan armed forces. By doing this we also want to dispel apprehensions among our people about the future of the peace process," Mr. Kousalyan told press persons whom he met after the meeting.

Sri Lankan security forces officials declined to speak to the press.


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