‘Tamil people's confidence in UNF shattered’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 July 2003, 17:22 GMT]
The Vanni district parliamentarian from the Tamil National Alliance, Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Saturday said that the visit by Sri Lanka’s Defence minister, Mr.Tilak Marapane, and Sri Lanka Navy Commander, Daya Sandagiri, to Israel to purchase arms, has shattered the confidence the Tamil people had in the United National Front government that it was sincere in its peace initiatives, sources said.

Mr. Adailakalanathan, who is also the leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, issued a statement Saturday in response to press reports that Sri Lanka’s Defence Minister and Navy commander are in Israel, negotiating the purchase of arms and other war materials to strengthen the SLN.

"No agreement has been reached in the dispute between the Sri Lanka Navy and the LTTE regarding sea transport. The SLN is engaged in operations in sea with the intention of derailing the peace process. At this juncture, the visit of the Defence Minister and Commander of the SLN to one of its biggest arms suppliers, Israel, has created suspicion in the minds of the Tamil people that the UNF government, like the former governments, is preparing for another war while talking peace," said Mr.Adaikalanathan.

" We consider the steps taken by the UNF government ministers to strengthen the Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Navy as a provocative act. We condemn such types of actions by the UNF government while talking of peace," said Mr.Adaikalanathan.

The TNA parliamentarian pointed out in his statement that "already a senior minister who is directly involved in the peace process with the LTTE" had gone to America and finalized the purchase of a modern war ship to strengthen the Sri Lanka Navy. "Now the Defence Minister with his SLN commander has gone to Israel to finalize purchase of war materials to the SLN."

Mr.Adaikalanathan appealed to the UNF government to stop the arms purchase if it is seriously interested in taking forward the suspended peace process.

 

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