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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2399

"Sri Lanka is our Motherland. We respect the constitution, the President and the government" -- Col Karuna

Colombo, 04 March, (Asiantribune.com): Vinayamoorthy Muralitharan (a.k.a. Colonel Karuna), leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), made an unexpected and rare appearance at the passing out parade of the latest batch of TMVP cadres held at an undisclosed military base in the east. Vinayamoorthy Muralitharan (a.k.a. Colonel Karuna) in In his address at the sports meet  commended his Supreme Commander Pillaiyan for running the TMVP military wing efficiently and for maintaining strict discipline.Vinayamoorthy Muralitharan (a.k.a. Colonel Karuna) in In his address at the sports meet commended his Supreme Commander Pillaiyan for running the TMVP military wing efficiently and for maintaining strict discipline.

According to the cadres his visit was a pleasant surprise to them. He spoke to each and every one of them and gave them a patient hearing. It was noted that in some instances he advised some cadres and in another incidents he commended the cadres for their good work and for maintaining good discipline.

Addressing the new cadres he said: "We believe today in the rule of law, democracy and pluralism. Sri Lanka is our Motherland. We want to live equally with the majority Sinhalese and minority Muslims. We consider that it is our duty to respect the country’s constitution and also the President and the Government of Sri Lanka."

He added: "The TMVP is thankful to the Sri Lankan Government and the Sri Lankan security forces for liberating the Tamil people who were held as human shields at Vaharai. The liberation of the Tamils of the east was possible because of the correct political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his Army commander Lt-Gen, Sarath Fonseka. The Tamils should remember the few hundred Sri Lankan soldiers who sacrificed their lives to liberate Vaharai from the ruthless Vanni Tigers."

Karuna, was accompanied by his Supreme Commander Pillaiyan, Senior Commander Jeyam and other commanders. Karuna spent two days with his cadres in their bases and discussed with them about the changes that has to be effected in the running of the military wing of the TMVP.

He told them: "Our military wing is accommodated within the TMVP to safeguard the lives of our political cadres and also the Tamil people from the senseless massacres of the Vanni Tigers. Our military wing is a self-defence force to protect ourselves from of the oppressive regime of the Vanni Tigers led by Velupillai Prabakaran. Fighting the Vanni Tigers is the duty of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is the Government’s duty to liberate the Tamils from the iron clutches of the Tigers. And we are thankful to the Security Forces for liberating the east from the clutches of the Tigers."

On the suggestions of the cadres and the regional commanders TMVP leadership agreed to set up two new brigades and cadres were assigned from the existing units. These two brigades were classified as (1) Special Attack Brigade and (2) Special Reconnaissance attack Brigade.

It was also decided to give 30-day special training for cadres recruited for the two new brigades.

On the second day of Karuna’s visit, a special sports meet of the TMVP military cadres was held. Winners’ received prizes from Karuna.

In his address at the sports meet Karuna commended his Supreme Commander Pillaiyan for running the TMVP military wing efficiently and for maintaining strict discipline. He also commended his Senior Commander Jeyam and other regional Commanders. He emphasized that it is very important that TMVP cadres’ shall at all times maintain strict discipline.

He also touched on national and international issues that concerned the TMVP. He said: "I have very clearly told Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, that we are not involved in the abduction and recruitment of underage children. We have also repeated this to Madam Joe Becker Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch not once but twice.

"We clearly told them that we do not have even one underage child with us in our military wing. I want my commanders to maintain this for ever and also I have instructed Pillaiyan, my overall commander to prepare a list of all cadres with their date of births clearly recorded.

"We have enough able-bodied young men to protect our cadres, our political leaders and also our people who are threatened by the Vanni Tigers.

"When we left the LTTE on 03 March 2004 we decided to enter into the main stream politics of Sri Lanka. When we left the LTTE, we also gave up the policy of Separate state or Tamil Eelam. We do not believe in such a utopian politics any more.

"We today believe in rule of law, democracy and pluralism. Sri Lanka is our Motherland. We want to live equally with the majority Sinhalese and minority Muslims. We consider that it is our duty respect the country’s constitution and also the President and the Government of Sri Lanka.

"In the east we live with Muslims as well as with the Sinhalese. We are ready to join hands with them and live with them as equals.

"As Tamils we are faced with lot of issues. We believe that these issues can be easily negotiated and settled without taking up to arms and waging a war against our own people and other ethnic communities.

"I wish to remind you that Vanni Tiger leader took up arms in 1975 and began fighting the government. Today he has killed more Tamils than the Sri Lanka Government and Indian Government killed together. He has not stopped killing even after his brutal campaigns that had gone on for 32 long torturous years.

"Our political office in Colombo is gauging the feelings of the Tamils and meeting Tamils and Muslim groups to explore the needs of our people and the issues they are facing. Very soon we will be preparing a major political paper to be presented to the President of Sri Lanka, including the aspirations of our people. Once the political paper is prepared we will have discussions with other Tamil groups to consider if any changes are required.

"Finally, we will take up the matter with the Sri Lanka Government and urge the Government to see to address our issues. We know that not only Tamils but also the Sinhalese and Muslims believe in us. Once we have the people with us then it is possible to move forward towards a political settlement free from violence," he said.

Karuna seen walking to the meeting venueKaruna seen walking to the meeting venue

Karuna flanked by his commandersKaruna flanked by his commanders

Karuna seated at the meeting venue in his left Supreme Commander Pillaiyan and  in his right Senior Commander JeyamKaruna seated at the meeting venue in his left Supreme Commander Pillaiyan and in his right Senior Commander Jeyam

Karuna addressing to his cadresKaruna addressing to his cadres

TMVP cadres seen seated and listening to spirited address of KarunaTMVP cadres seen seated and listening to spirited address of Karuna

- Asian Tribune -

Also Read: Human Rights Watch and TMVP led by Karuna clash head-on on child recruitment

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