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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

LTTE refuses government proposals to ease food shortages but continues harping to open A9 and A15 Roads

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 09 December, ( The liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) refused to accept the Sri Lanka government proposals claimed to ease the food situation in Jaffna peninsula and provide a safe haven for civilian refugees at Vakarai, in the East.

The political head of the LTTE refused to accept the government proposals and said the opening of the A9 and A15 highways cannot be negotiated on conditions when the Norwegian peace facilitators led by Special Envoy, Jan Hansen Bauer, carrying government proposals met S. P. Tamilselvan at their headquarters in Kilinochchi.

The government sent proposals requesting the LTTE to open the A9 Highway at Muhamalai to let a convoy of trucks to pass their check point and provide security for them to deliver food stockpiles in Jaffna in addition to the regular food deliveries by ships to avoid any food shortages for the civilians in Jaffna.

The government of Sri Lanka also wanted the Norwegian facilitators to tell the LTTE to free the 4000 retail traders in Jaffna from LTTE intimidation to sell food items without any hindrance from the terrorist group since they were being threatened by the LTTE front organization Makkal Padai. The government claimed the 450 cooperatives and the 16 retail military shops were not enough to distribute the food freely to the civilians.

The government also wanted Hansen Bauer to request the LTTE to help create a safe haven for civilian refugees in the Eastern war theatre of Vakarai.

Expressing the LTTE opinion about the government proposals (I)Rasiah Ilantheriyan , the LTTE military spokesman played them down and said there was nothing new in the proposals.

He also said behind the government proposals there was a sinister plan for the Sri Lanka Army to obtain military gains. He was speaking to the Sinhala service of the BBC , the Sandeshaya.

The defense spokesman and cabinet minister Keheliya Rambukwella said from Geneva the LTTE was agitating for food. And when the government was ready with a convoy of trucks with food in addition to the regular sea supplies the LTTE was not ready to allow it.

When Rambukwella was told that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was not allowed to go places freely, according to the LTTE the defense spokesman, retorted back by saying the LTTE has bombed Somadevi school near Kallar and killed and injured students, teachers and other civilians. He said until Friday the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission or the ICRC failed to go there. But in contrast, he said, when a military training school of the LTTE, called Sencholai was bombed, both organizations rushed there within few hours making wrong statements to the world that the government has bombed a regular school or orphanage which were found to be untruthful.

The press release issued by the LTTE said, the closed A9 and A15 highways must be opened unconditionally on a purely humanitarian basis since these are only land routes to Jaffna and Vaharai respectively where large civilians population remain trapped without the very basic essentials for living.

- Asian Tribune -

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