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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2857

Tigers knew that the American ambassador and other diplomats were coming to discuss resettlement issues - Col. Karuna

Colombo, 28 February, ( In a scathing attack, Colonel Karuna alias V.Muralitharan, Leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) blamed Velupillai Prabakaran and his outfit LTTE for firing mortar shells at the Western diplomats -- American Ambassador Robert O Blake, German Ambassador Juregun Weerth, and the Italian Ambassador Pio Mariani -- who had come to assess the progres made in re-settlement of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) caught in the recent operations to evict the Tamil Tigers from the east. Col. Karuna : "I know these Tigers well. This attack was a deliberate move to send a message to the Western diplomats that they cannot come to the east without their permission."Col. Karuna : "I know these Tigers well. This attack was a deliberate move to send a message to the Western diplomats that they cannot come to the east without their permission."

He dismissed the story of the Tigers that they did not know who was arriving in helicopters as "utter rubbish" because it was common knowledge in the east that the diplomats were arriving to attend a meeting organized by the Government Agent Batticoloa to discuss resettlement programs. He added that the Tamil Tigers monitor all movements in the east and they are well informed through their networks.

"This pre-arranged meeting," he said, "was more or a less a public event and it could not have been kept a state secret with so many civil society and government officials participating in it.. I knew this and my cadres knew it. If the Tigers did not know this important event then they deserve to be court martialed and punished severely."

"I know these Tigers well. This attack was a deliberate move to send a message to the Western diplomats that they cannot come to the east without their permission. If this is how they treat the Western diplomats you can imagine how they treat the helpless Tamils and Muslims in the east," said Karuna.

He added: "I hope that the Western diplomats will not fall for the excuses put out by their propaganda machine. Their attempt to blame the Sri Lankan government is ridiculous. This is typical of the Tigers. They always hope to reap the benefits from their ruthless violence by passing the buck to others."

Colonel Karuna told Asian Tribune that a diplomat team with many other foreign diplomats EU Ambassador Julian Wilson Japanese Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki and the French Ambassador Michel Lummah and also Resident Coordinators of the World Food Programme, UNICEF and FAO were also in the delegation which visited Batticalao.

Karuna said that they came to Batticaloa to attend a meeting organized by the Government Agent–Batticaloa with the NGOs representatives at 09.00 a.m. yesterday to discuss the re-settlement program in the East and other matters related to the IDPs.

The foreign diplomats based in Colombo were accompanied by the Human Rights & Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.

Karuna added that the team arrived to assess the work progressing in Vaharai and Batticaloa areas in order to accelerate the rehabilitation program. as that is what the Government needs to do at the moment to ensure that an accelerated rehabilitation programme with the help of friends of Sri Lanka, on bilateral and multi-lateral basis.

This was the first time ever a large number of foreign Ambassadors and diplomats arrived in Batticaloa to find solution to the problems faced by the internally displaced people. Funds are requried to resettle them back in their villages in Trincomalee and in Vaharai. It was a God sent opportunity for the people of the Eastern region but LTTE leader with his anti-people act has upset all the benefits the people of this region might have got through these foreign Ambassadors.

"It is the common practice of Prabakaran to do maximum damage to the people and then put the blame on others. Even on the day of the opening of Jaffna University (February 17th) his men killed a university student in Varani, Chavakachcheri and then through his propaganda machinery accused the Sri Lanka army of killing the student. This tactic helped to provoke the students to stage demonstrations and boycott the academic activities." he said.

Karuna stated: "With my close association I have studied Prabhakaran on a one-to-one-basis and there are hardly anyone else who could provide information on the thinking and the personality of Prabhakaran. The Government of Sri Lanka has still not studied the man fully because they still talk about “talks with the LTTE.”

"But," he added, "it is high time that the Government and the people of this country realized that Prabakaran is not a man for peace. He has never understood the meaning of the word. He must be spoken to only in the language he understands. He only understands war, violence, killings and destruction. It is correct if someone term him correctly as a habitual war-monger.

"Today Prabakaran is militarily weak. These days he continues loose the territory he gained under the Ceasefire Agreement. He has at last found out that all those so called commanders he had so much of confidence are ineffective cowards. These aging commanders have lost touch with the offensive and defensive strategies. The world has rejected his claims to be a liberation fighter. The world considers him as plain and simple terrorist. He is panicking now because he is desperate. The attack on the Western diplomats is his latest desperate act."

"In the Tamil culture, diplomats are considered as protected messengers of a friendly country. Tamil tradition never resorts to attack a messenger which is against the rule of war," he said.

Karuna in conclusion said that he wish to appeal to the international community and the government of Sri Lanka to launch appropriate action to isolate Prabhakaran and his cadres and liberate the innocent Tamil civilians who are kept under his iron grip.

- Asian Tribune -

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