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LTTE warns India over displaced Tamils

[TOI, Monday, 2 March 2009 08:12 No Comment]

The LTTE is not pleased with India’s demands for a safe passage of civilians from the trouble-torn region of Sri Lanka. LTTE is clear that the civilians caught in the turmoil must not be uprooted from their land. ( Watch )

In an e-mail interview to TV channel Times Now, the political head of LTTE – B Nadesan – has warned New Delhi to back-off. Nadesan has called the eviction of people from their homeland ‘a monumental blunder’.
The LTTE calls this a calculated ploy by the Lankan government to uproot Tamils from their traditional habitat.

Nadesan writes: "I ask if the UN, or India, or any other country would ever promote uprooting and relocating the people of Gaza as a solution? And the Tamil people are expected to willingly rush to these barbed wired internment camps in these surrounding situations? Is this what UN, India and other nations are envisioning for Tamils? The human shield term is a propaganda used towards uprooting the Tamil people from their traditional habitat. The Tamil people have lived here for generations and want to continue living here and make a livelihood in these lands. The Sri Lankan Government, UN and other international community’s statements that claim to seek the well being of Tamil people – in uprooting them to forcibly and put them in barbed wired military run camps is unprecedented."

Nadesan’s outburst interestingly comes a day after external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee asked the Lankan government to accept the LTTE’s ceasefire offer and arrange for safe passage of civilians. In his reaction to Mukherjee’s call for Sri Lanka to make use of the LTTE offer for ceasefire and evacuate civilians, Nadesan has warned India not to fall for Sri Lanka’s promise of resettling Tamils.

"As India also continues express calls for safe passage of civilians and lukewarm calls for truce, these are seen as temporary measures and a blessing to continue the military onslaught on the Tamil Homelands by Colombo…

"India and UN will be in no position to ask Sri Lanka to adhere to these empty promises of resettlement in the future. Remember that the new uprooting is being proposed while thousands of Tamil people in Jaffna have been waiting for over a decade to be re-settled. Sri Lankan government has refused to adhere to the dignity, security and safety of even of Tamils who have been living in cities like Colombo for generations.
The Sri Lankan government promises to the international community of resettling Tamils will be broken at the same speed soon before the promised assistance funds are made available to the Sri Lankan government coffers that are already facing a crunch of foreign reserves due to vast military expenditures."
The LTTE has also, for the first time, condemned the UN for its latest report accusing the Tigers of forcibly holding people back. Nadesan said that the United Nations has given a recent report without any first hand information. The reality, he said, was that Tamil people do not want to move to UN and Sri Lankan refugee camps.

"The UN was already forced to abandon the Tamil people last year when the Sri Lankan government asked all the UN and NGO staff to leave Vanni last year, in order to carry on its war without witnesses. It is regrettable that the UN Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes was not provided a safe passage to come to Vanni and see the plight of the civilians first hand and see if they are being forcibly held. The people are staying here at their own will. They want peace and security right where they live and do not want to move into any UN and Sri Lanka government planned camps – internment camps, as described by the Human Rights Watch on Feb 20th."

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