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LTTE Political Wing was meant to infiltrate military-held areas; Sasitharans no saints -MOD

LTTE Political Wing was meant to infiltrate military-held areas; Sasitharans no saints -MOD

The Defence Ministry yesterday said that Northern Provincial Council member Ananthi Sasitharan was under investigation, though she had publicly distanced herself from the LTTE fighting cadre.

A senior Defence Ministry spokesman said that the ongoing inquiry was meant to establish her role during the conflict as well as the post-war era. The Defence Ministry was responding to criticism of its decision to weigh the need to rehabilitate Ms. Sasitharan.

During the conflict Ananthi Sasitharan worked at the Kilinochchi Divisional secretariat.

Ms Sasitharan successfully contested the first Northern Provincial Council polls last September. Representing the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) she polled the second highest preferential votes in the Northern Province comprising the administrative districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Asked whether authorities had specific information regarding Ms. Sasitharan's involvement in terrorism, the official pointed out that an attempt was being made to sanitize her on the basis that her husband, Velayutham Sasitharan alias Elilan functioned as the political wing leader of the Trincomalee district.

The Defence Ministry alleged that the LTTE created a political wing especially to infiltrate territory in Northern and Eastern Provinces, during the Norwegian arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in early 2002. The CFA stipulated that LTTE could establish political offices in areas under the government control, the ministry said, adding that the Sasitharans could have taken advantage of the CFA on many occasions.

Sri Lanka wouldn't give special status to those terrorists masquerading as political activists, the Defence Ministry insisted. Referring to the killing of LTTE political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan in early November 2007, the ministry stressed that the former Jaffna commander was targeted as he was a member of a terrorist outfit.

In fact, a US military team that examined the ground situation in late 2002 asserted that the LTTE was exploiting the CFA to its advantage. The team from Pacific Command alleged that: "Since the signing the CFA with the government of Sri Lanka, the LTTE has increased political presence within military controlled territory and actively repositioned, re-equipped and re-trained combat forces. As a result of these activities, the LTTE has improved its ability to affect civilian popular opinion, interdict military lines of communications and seize control of additional territory."

The ministry said that those who had visited Sri Lanka to examine the ground situation ended up listening to either former terrorists or the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which endorsed the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people leading to the outbreak of eelam war IV.

Courtesy : The Island

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