|Jaffnaites tired of Tigers’ tactics|
|Tuesday, 03 February 2009|
JAFFNA: About 20,000 people participated in a rally in Jaffna on Sunday, appealing to the Indian Prime Minister, the Sri Lankan President and the UN Secretary General, to pressure the LTTE to release the lakhs of Tamil civilians they were holding captive in the war-zone in the Wanni to be used as human shields against the advancing Sri Lankan army.
In separate memoranda addressed to the three dignitaries, the citizens of Jaffna said that they could no longer tolerate the LTTE putting the lives of so many people in jeopardy. Over 150,000 people are squeezed into 230 sq km in Mullaitivu district.
The petitioners demanded that the LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, keep his hands off the people and respect the right of individuals to move freely in search of safety.
“We request Your Excellency to take every measure possible to pressurise the LTTE to allow those civilians being held against their will in the Wanni jungles to come into safer areas,” the memorandum addressed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
The memorandum to Singh was handed over to Sri Lankan cabinet minister for Social Welfare and member of the Special Task Force for the Northern Province, Douglas Devananda. Addressing Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Jaffna’s citizens said that while they appreciated the 48-hour truce and assurance of safe passage to the civilians wanting to come over to the government-held areas, they would be happier if he would bring about a lasting political solution to the ethnic strife in the island country.
Some citizens told to The New Indian Express that people in Jaffna felt that if people in the war zone were allowed to move, they would come over to the government side. “How long can they survive there without food, water and sanitation?” said Thavarajah Selvakumar, a youth whose relatives are in the Wanni.
“Many of the people in the Wanni today have relatives in Jaffna. Most of the participants in the rally might have people there,” said a shopkeeper.
‘This is where LTTE chief V Prabhakaran is hiding’
Sri Lankan Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda told newspersons that LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was in Puthukudiyirupu in Mullaitivu district in the north of Sri Lanka. He said Prabhakaran was living in an underground bunker.
“Prabhakaran is no longer a Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam but the Liberation Tiger of Puthukudiyiruppu,” he said.
He added that several LTTE leaders were eager to defect to the Lankan side, but had either been shot or detained.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2009 )|
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