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THE UNP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT COMES OUT STRONGLY IN SUPPORT OF THE SANGILIYAN FORCE OF THE TIGERS

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

In the ongoing debate whether or not the Sangiliyan Force has threatened the Tamil parliamentarians to resign their seats the United National Party (UNP) member of Parliament for Jaffna , T.Maheswaran has come out strongly in support of the Tigers.

The UNP Member of Parliament for Jaffna has joined Anton Balasingham of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in refuting the charge that the Sangiliyan Force has threatened the Tamil members of Parliament to resign and instead has pointed an accusing finger at the pro-government Tamil armed groups in Jaffna for planning to assassinate.

The United National Party politician was reported by the LTTE controlled Eelam Nation website of having said that it was the pro-government armed groups that were planning to kill what he reportedly said "big fish" and put the blame on the LTTE.

A newspaper office in Jaffna and other individuals received by mail a handbill of the original threat reportedly issued by the Sangiliyan Force, a clandestine but well known politico-military auxiliary wing of the Liberation Tigers demanding the parliamentarians to resign their seats. The announcement of the handbill was also made over the LTTE radio, the Voice of the Tigers. But Anton Balasingham, the Liberation Tigers spokesman based in London, where law bans the terrorist group, denied the Tiger terrorists had anything to do with the threat.

The clandestine group, the Sangiliyan Force of the Liberation Tigers took the name of the group from the last provincial king of Jaffna, who ruled Sri Lanka's Northern Province under the emperor of Sri Lanka in Kotte. Sangiliyan bravely fought against foreign invaders with the assistance from the emperor of the country.

The Sangiliyan Force came to lime light when it claimed responsibility for the assassination of the Jaffna Mayor, Ms. Sarojini Yogeswaran . The LTTE controlled TamilNet website on May 18 1998 reported that the Uthayan newspaper published in Jaffna received a letter, signed by the clandestine group's Jaffna district leader, K.Sureshkumar of having accepting the responsibility of killing the woman.

Jaffna politicians following the assassination said a LTTE group, which has taken its name from a king who fought against foreign invaders against Sri Lanka, was now unfortunately killing an unarmed innocent woman who was even refusing military protection by the Sri Lanka government.

The LTTE sponsored Sangiliyan Force shot Ms. Sarojini Yogeswaran five times in her chest to kill at her residence near Pillaar Kovil near Jaffna town.

The Jaffna Municipal Council that started functioning in April 1998 started crumbling down when Tamil Municipal Councilors started tendering their resignations under the threat of the Sangiliyan Force of the LTTE.

The London based human rights organization, the Amnesty international following the assassination of Ms. Yogeswaran said it was a "breach of international humanitarian standards". The organization called on the LTTE to make "a clear statement condemning the killing." But the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is yet to make such a statement.



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