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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

Tamil Minister accuse Tigers of causing humanitarian disaster facing the Tamil people

Colombo, 31 October, ( In a press statement Douglas Devananda, Secretary General Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) and Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, has pointed the finger directly at the Tamil Tigers for the closure of A-9 road and causing the humanitarian disaster. Douglas Devananda M.P.:"As usual, Tigers adopted devious obstructionist tactics to end the talks in Geneva without arriving at a desirable conclusion."Douglas Devananda M.P.:"As usual, Tigers adopted devious obstructionist tactics to end the talks in Geneva without arriving at a desirable conclusion."

"It was the Tigers who were responsible for the closure of the A 9 road. Now Tigers have also closed the road to peace by demanding the opening up of the road for their selfish ends," he said.

"It was the aspiration and desire of the whole people of Sri Lanka that the talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tigers should move towards peace. This was what the international community desired. This was the longing of the Sri Lanka Government. It is also the wish of Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP).

"As usual, Tigers adopted devious obstructionist tactics to end the talks in Geneva without arriving at a desirable conclusion. The reason put forward by the Tigers for the collapse of the talks was the government’s failure to open up the A 9 road. This is deceptive reasoning because it is the Tigers who were responsible for closure the road. This also underlines the fact that Tigers are not interested in peace which is the only favorable path to improve the welfare of the Tamil speaking people.

"There is no doubt that when the Government earlier kept the road open it was meant to be for the benefit of our people. However it was the Tigers who reaped the comforts and benefits of the open A-9 road more than the people. This was road through which food, medicine and other essential items passed through for distribution among our people. People and goods had no option but to take the A-9 road when it was under the control of the Tigers. They used A-9 road to impose illegal taxes which amounted to "kappang" (extortions) and hampered the welfare of the people.

"The Tigers vowed to capture the Peninsula in four days time and declared an un-winnable war against the wishes of the people in the Jaffna peninsula. Faced with these circumstances the Government was forced to close down the A9 road. It is true that our peoples’ welfare has been gravely affected. But who is responsible for the people’s welfare to be affected? It was the unwarranted ambitions of the Tigers that pushed them to believe that they could capture Jaffna peninsula and once again restore their authority. Their greed too made them believe that they increase their income by keeping the A9 road open.

"It is because of these misguided policies that our people are forced to face an unnecessary humanitarian disaster. Even though Tigers were responsible for the sufferings and misery of our people we cannot abandon our people or to avoid confronting this issue.

"Without tackling the issue to bring relief to our people the Tigers have laid down a condition that in case A 9 road was not opened then they would not continue to participate in the talks. This undoubtedly will place more burdens on our people. Not going to talks is not going to bring relief to our people. It is a tactic used by the Tigers to increase their bargaining power without easing the suffering and misery of our people.

"Government of Sri Lanka has clearly indicated its position that If A9 road has to be kept opened

1. Tigers have to allow people to freely travel through the road without any interruption,

2. Extortions (Kappang / illegal taxes) should not be imposed on the people.

3. Without any further delay put an end to threats and intimidations and also stop all forms of attacks.

"Opening the A-9 road for the benefit of the Tigers is not going to help the people. Their objective is to get the road opened to fleece the people and to control the movement of all traffic. But the position taken by the Government will double the benefits to the people.

The Government position is to permit the people as well as the essential items to pass through A-9 without any obstructions. The government also aims to end the Tigers’ tortuous extortions in the guise of "compulsory taxes."

"EPDP appeals to everyone, from the ordinary citizen going right up to the international community, to consider which one of the positions is best suited for the welfare of our people

"Travel and obtaining essential items are incidentally issues people face daily. These issues became a serious problem daily to our people because of the war. And the war came out of political issues. Therefore, it is imperative that the Tigers should place on the negotiating table the core issues to solve the political problems. Once the political issues are solved automatically war would come to a permanent end. When there is no war, then the day-to-day problems people would naturally vanish for ever.

"Without finding solutions to the major political issues confronting the people but pretending to find solutions to the day-to-day problems of the people with selfish motives amounts to growing leaves on a tree without attending to the roots, trunks and branches first.

"The best favor that the Tigers can bestow on our people is to keep the road opened as requested by the Government without imposing "kappang" (extortions) in the guise of taxes and to allow the passengers to travel freely on the A 9 road without any anti-people obstructions and simultaneously continue with the talks without unnecessary delays.

"Otherwise this will be another opportunity lost due to the historically traitorous acts committed by the Tigers against our people," said Devananda.

- Asian Tribune -

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