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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2865

Pressure mounting on government to disarm Karuna group

Colombo, 22 July, ( All attempts by the remaining LTTE cadres in the Thoppigala area to leave for Vanni have been thwarted by the Sri Lanka Security forces. According to intelligence reports the LTTE Commander, Jeyam, including Mano Master, Nagesh, Keerthi inteligence Chief of the East, and others are still holed up in the Thoppigala area.

At the height of the offensive to capture Thoppigala, when the Tiger cadres were facing defeat, a group of 200 Tigers divided into small groups and were trying their level best to cross from the region through the Main Supply Route (MSR) Batticaloa Central – Welikantha up to Chenkalady.

As reported earlier by the Asian Tribune, the Sri Lanka Army had been alerted to prevent this group crossing through the MSR into Batticaloa North to Trinco South and from there to cross into Kumburupiddy coast to embark on the boats of the Sea Tigers.

Based on instructions from Vanni, Jeyam has now arranged 40 cadres under the leadership of Jeyarathan the Commandant of the Jeyanthan Battalion in the East, to stay put in the East to conduct guerilla war against the Sri Lanka Army.

In the meantime, V.Muralitharan, alias Karuna, the leader of the Karuna Group, has publicly declared in an interview he gave to Tamil Osai, BBC Tamil Service that he rejected the idea of disarming his cadres in the East.

Sri Lankan Government has already disarmed para-military cadres belonging to the anti-LTTE groups after the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002. During the period Karuna was the special Commander of the LTTE for the Amparai – Batticaloa districts. He was responsible for the killing of hundreds of anti-LTTE cadres who were disarmed according to the Ceasefire Agreement.

During that time Karuna was also responsible for the killing of dozens of Sri Lanka security forces. Karuna was not considered to be a para-military group as he was with the Tamil Tigers.

After the split with the LTTE, Karuna group was categorized as a para –military unit by the Tamil Tigers. It turned into an effective anti-Tiger force with the connivance of the government. However, there is pressure mounting on the government now to disarm Karuna group.

The JVP too urged on Friday that all paramilitary forces in the East should be disarmed.

JVP propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa, speaking in the parliament on the adjournment motion insisted, said that the government should disarm all paramilitary forces operating in the East enabling the people in the area to live without fear.

Mr. Weerawansa said the paramilitary forces had to take up arms because of the LTTE and if they continued to operate in the East even after the Tigers were no longer in existence, it would create other problems.

“We call on the government do dismantle these groups gradually because we understand that such a process cannot be done overnight,” he said.

The Government’s proposal too to hold elections in the East makes it necessary to disarm all armed groups for he conduct of free and fair elections.

- Asian Tribune –

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1. Karuna group a big threat to peace and stability in the east

2. LTTE cadres still roaming in eastern jungles

3. Karuna cuts deal to let Tigers escape from east to Vanni

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