British HC officials meet LTTE in Amparai

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 September 2003, 22:05 GMT]
A team of officials from the British High Commission (HC) in Sri Lanka, led by Ms. Margaret Tongue, the head of the Press and Public Affairs division at the HC, met with the Amparai district political leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the LTTE’s Akkaparipattu political secretariat Thursday, sources in Amparai said.

On behalf of the LTTE, the Amparai district political head, Mr. Bawa, and his deputy, Mr. Kuyilinpan, participated at the meeting.

“We have experienced the brutality of the war and we abhor war. But it was the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) that thrust the war on us. The international community should pressure the GOSL, as they do the LTTE,” the sources quoted Mr. Bawa as telling the British HC officials.

“Though the Sri Lanka Armed forces are trying to provoke us, with the guidance of our national leader, we are patiently working for peace,” said the LTTE officials.

The British HC team took up the allegations of taxation, underage recruitment and the killing of members of paramilitary groups, the sources said.

On the taxation issue, the LTTE officials told the visiting HC officials that taxation had been in effect since the inception of the LTTE’s administrative structure, and this was applied throughout the areas in their administrative control without any discrimination, the sources said.

On the allegation of underage recruitment, the LTTE leaders said that orphaned and destitute children flocked to the LTTE, as the GOSL had shown scant interest in their welfare, but the LTTE is handing them over to the UNICEF in the presence of their parents.

On the killings of members of paramilitary groups, the LTTE leaders said that these paramilitary groups had been involved in anti-social activities and had made several enemies among the general public. “Actions of anti-peace elements and internal conflicts among the members of these paramilitary groups are the reasons for such killings,” the LTTE leaders said.

The leaders added that recently an LTTE cadre in Karaitivu and a supporter of the LTTE in Puttur were killed by the paramilitary groups.

On Wednesday, the HC team met with the Amparai district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandraneru, at his office in Amparai. The team concluded its Amparai visit Thursday, sources said.

 

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