|Jaffna bishop wants India to pressurise LTTE|
|Wednesday, 03 December 2008|
COLOMBO: The Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev Thomas Savundaranayagam, wants India to pressurise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to release the lakhs of Tamil civilians who are held captive in the north Sri Lankan war zones of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.
Rev Savundaranayagam, whose diocese extends to areas in the current war zone in the Wanni region, told Express here, that he had asked Members of Parliament belonging to the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to ask the Indian government to put pressure on the LTTE to release the civilians it had been holding captive for military purposes.
Rev Savundaranayagam said that in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, apart from the local population, there are 250,000 refugees from the western parts of the Wanni who had been driven out of their homes and hearths by the government’s military operations since 2006.
‘The people are anxious to flee the war zone for their own survival. But they are unable to do so for two reasons. One is that the LTTE is not allowing them to go. The second reason is the fear that the government and the security forces may suspect them of being LTTE cadre or LTTE sympathisers, and detain or imprison them.
“Many of the Wanni people have had something to do with the LTTE. Many have worked for the LTTE either as volunteers or as conscripts. Many have given their children to the LTTE either voluntarily or otherwise,” the Bishop explained.
The massive earth bund defences erected by the LTTE were products of forced labour, he said.
“The church and I are very concerned about the sufferings of the people. The people have no shelter and no security what so ever. The current torrential rains have made life unbearable. Many of the displaced persons had moved several times in the past few months,” he said.
PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE AGAINST LTTE: According to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry, 80 persons belonging to Maaveerar (Martyrs’) and Poraali (Fighters’) families demonstrated against the LTTE at the Oddusuddan junction at 11 am on Monday, demanding permission to leave for the government- held areas in Vavuniya.
“Maaveerar” families are families of dead fighting cadre, and “Poraali” families are those that had contributed sons or daughters to the fighting units of the LTTE.
The demonstrators shouted slogans condemning the LTTE for breaking its promise to let them go, the Ministry said on Tuesday.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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