11th July, 2004 Volume 10, Issue 52
confirms Karuna link
government minister last week admitted that he was continuing to have
links with former LTTE Eastern Commander Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan
alias Colonel Karuna even after President Chandrika Kumaratunga told the
Norwegian facilitators that the government was not helping the renegade
prove his claim, Minister Douglas Devananda called Karuna in the presence
of the journalists. "I have continued to have telephone conversations
with Karuna. He is in Sri Lanka and is in Batticaloa," Devananda told
The Sunday Leader. Devananda speaking to Karuna on the telephone invited
the journalists to listen in to confirm he was in fact in touch with the
LTTE renegade commander. Karuna according to Devananda had said he had
tried to call him on several occasions that day but could not get through
on the mobile. Minister Devananda also showed documentation which he
claimed he was preparing to register a political party for Karuna
document in Devananda's possession gave the name of Karuna's party as
"The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Karuna wing)" and the
symbol was a singing fish.
claims follow warnings by LTTE Political Wing Head, S. P. Tamilselvan
during talks with Norwegian special envoy Erik Solhiem two weeks ago that
if the government continues to have links with Karuna it would seriously
jeopardise the peace process.
the battle between the LTTE and Karuna supporters intensified last week
with the arrest of 14 Tamil youth in Hingurakgoda at a Buddhist temple.
The youths had automatic weapons in their possession but were bailed out.
The LTTE political office in Batticaloa said that the youth were Karuna
supporters on their way to Thoppigala and accused the military
intelligence of supporting the group.
vehicles; 57-2667, YuHa 8967 and YuHa 5299 were sent to Hingurakgoda to
transport the youth by the army intelligence, according to reports. The
attempt proved futile since by the time the vehicles were on their way,
the police had already made the arrests. However, Military Spokesperson
Colonel Sumedha Perera rejected the charges.
another incident in LTTE controlled areas in Batticaloa, two suspected
Karuna supporters were publicly executed on July 8. They were caught along
with two others with arms and the LTTE said that the weapons were similar
to those used by the armed forces.
The four had said that they took part in two attacks against LTTE
offices in the east.
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