LTTE DEMONSTRATIONS IN JAFFNA AND
VAVUNIYA BURN EFFIGIES OF JAFFNA COMMANDER SARATH FONSEKA AND DEMAND
ARMY TO QUIT
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organized demonstration
at two places in the North, burnt effigies of Major Sarath Fonseka,
the commanding officer of the Sri Lanka Army in Jaffna and in one voice
demanded the withdrawal of the Sri Lankan security forces from what
they called the Tamil Eelam.
The LTTE's latest demand contradicts the claim of the Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe that the separatist rebels have now changed their
former policy of calling the Sri Lanka Army an invading army and has
acknowledged the Sri Lankan forces had a right to remain there.
The ruling UNF government's main organ the Daily News in a prominent
news story published, January 5 2003, quoting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
said "The LTTE fought to drive away the security forces from the
Jaffna peninsula describing them as an invading army . But the LTTE
has acknowledged that the forces have the right to remain there. We
achieved some results which eluded us during two decades of war."
If the LTTE changed its policy as the Prime Minister claimed what prompted
them to go back to their former policy of asking the army to fully withdraw
from what they call the Tamil Eelam, is something not very clear.
The only thing that seemed to happen between them and the army was that
the army was attempting to implement the agreement signed between the
UNF government and LTTE after asking the rebels not to wear military
belts in the Sri Lanka controlled areas. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
requested that too. But the women's units of the LTTE rebels opted to
break the rule openly prompting the army to remove the belts forcibly
That lead to an engagement of fisticuffs, making some LTTE supporters
coming to help the lawbreakers.
That was the immediate cause, which prompted the LTTE to demand the
withdrawal of the Army from all Tamil areas, which the LTTE calls the
Tamil Eelam. The new LTTE attitude did not come without the knowledge
of the LTTE leaders. Anton Balasingham, whom the government prefers
to call "His Excellency Dr. Anton Balasingham" even while
he posses no PhD from a university and represents no sovereign state
seemed to be upset over not tolerating the law breakers of the government's
and his ceasefire agreement. He said , the clash was "an intolerable
provocation" He even warned , "The peace talks with the Sri
Lankan government will undoubtedly be seriously jeopardized if such
Many Sri Lankans did not believe Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
when he said the LTTE has changed and given up separatism. Strengthening
their doubts, the LTTE demonstration had slogans such as "Sri Lanka
forces leave our homeland." "Sri Lanka government don't provoke
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam."
At Aruvikulam junction in Jaffna, the LTTE organized demonstration set
fire to the effigy of Major Sarath Fonseka, their most hated Sri Lankan
soldier who refuses to budge an inch from the High Security Zones of
Jaffna unless the LTTE was ready for a decommissioning of weapons. The
nearly 3000 strong demonstration marched before the Eelam People's Democratic
Party office ridiculing them as betrayers, since they insisted to believe
in a united Sri Lanka.
In front of the EPDP office the LTTE demanded that their opposition
party should get out of the Tamil areas. The LTTE , a Fascist political
group , wants all Tamil political elements to quit politics allowing
them to be the "sole representatives of the Tamil people."
The Deputy inspector General of Police (Northern Range) said riot units
were ready to deal with any situation.
A similar demonstration of effigy burning of Sarath Fonseka was also
held in Vavuniya by the LTTE.
The International Student Association of Tamil Eelam, a front organization
of the LTTE was in charge of the demonstration. (EOM).