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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2734

Prabhakaran has become irrelevant, no more appeals for surrender says Colombo: Rescue Mission for Tamil 'hostages' planned

Colombo, 05 February ( Velupillai Prabhakaran, the dreaded LTTE chief, has become irrelevant and there will be no more appeals for the surrender of Tamil Tigers, says Spokesman for Sri Lanka government. However Sri Lanka Government is now seriously contemplating to mount a rescue mission to secure the freedom of civilian Tamil hostages held as human shield by the Tamil Tigers. And has appealed to leaders of all countries "who believe in fighting terrorists to join us to defeat the terrorists ultimately and save our people". Minister Kehelliya RambukawellaMinister Kehelliya Rambukawella

Speaking to the Asian Tribune, Sri Lanka Government's spokesman for National Security and Defence, Minister Kehelliya Rambukawella said, "We are no more concerned about Prabhakaran, because he is already a dead person. Whether he is alive or not, whether he is in the Vanni or not is of no consequence at all. He is a coward hiding for his survival and holding people hostages for his survival".

Asked whether one more appeal would be made to LTTE to surrender, the Minister replied in the negative. He said the government was not going to appeal to the LTTE to surrender. "They have missed their opportunity (in response to earlier appeals). They (LTTE) are terrorists. They are involved in anti-human activities. And they will be treated according to the law of our land".

Will there be Amnesty For Stranded Martyrs Family Members?

Rambukawella expected the people still in the 'Uncleared Area' to move out sooner than later. "The government", he said, "is not going to tolerate any further the LTTE atrocities and its holding of our people as hostages for their very own survival".

In his assessment about one thousand families of the 'stranded' people are families of LTTE martyrs from the elite group. "They are the group which is hesitating to come to the safe zone. In case they come out now to the safe area, we will be in a position to consider an amnesty for them".

Saying that Colombo had put in place plans to 'receive' the internally displaced persons, the spokesman said at the very outset of military operation hundreds and thousands of 'appeals' in the form of printed pamphlets were air dropped notifying the safe areas and the arrangements at such places. He promised that the government would discharge its duty towards "our people held hostage by terrorist organization for their very own safety".

According to Minister Rambukawella, those who still believe that Tigers will safeguard them are "living in fools' paradise".

Drawing a parallel with the situation in 1996, he said, like now, then there were many in Jaffna who were siding with the Tigers had gone along with the Tigers after the capture of the Jaffna district by the Sri Lankan Army. "When Jaffna fell to the army and the LTTE was chased away, people who were duped and taken to Vanni but they gradually returned home. They are today leading a happy life despite the pressures exerted by Prabhakaran and his cadres. We expect the Tamils who are held as hostages in the LTTE areas now to do likewise".

Tamil Nadu – No Bearing On Colombo

He further stated that the Rajapaksa government was "determined" to secure the release of the remaining Tamils held as hostages by the Terrorist entity. He did not elaborate on the plan but appealed to the leaders of countries, who believe in fighting terrorists, "to join us to defeat the terrorists ultimately and save our people."

"When the Tigers are unable to safeguard themselves. How can they safeguard the Tamil people", Minister Rambukawella asked, remarking that "just to safeguard one Prabhakaran, his wife, two sons and a daughter, more 20,000 Tamils youths have given up their lives". He appealed to Tamils not to be misled by the LTTE.

The Tamil Tigers, he said, have given the Tamils nothing but death, destruction and misery. The Sri Lankan Army has shown to the whole world that Prabhakaran is not a Tiger but a Rat that lurks in the underground bunker hole for his very survival.

"The Feb 4 strike in Tamil Nadu over Sri Lanka Tamil issue", Minister Kehelliya Rambukawella said, “was a part of the dynamics of Tamil Nadu politics and it will not influence Colombo." He reminded the government offer to facilitate the visit of Chief Minister Karunanidhi, AIADMK Leader Jayalalithaa and other TN political leaders to Sri Lanka to visit the area controlled by the LTTE to for appeal to the Tigers to lay down arms and to release the innocent civilians held by them as hostages.

He said it was unfortunate that Tamil Nadu leaders had "ignored" the invitation. He said "This goes to prove clearly that the Tamil Nadu leaders were not serious in alleviating the problems of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It also proved that these political leaders were only bent on exploiting the miseries of our brethren, the Tamils of Sri Lanka for their political gains".

-Asian Tribune -

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