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 incidents continue."
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).


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