B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his government has made arrangements for the safety of the displaced civilians in Wanni once they enter the “cleared areas” from the LTTE controlled territory amid reports of heavy fighting on Sunday.

Mr. Rajapaksa gave the assurance when Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader V. Anandasangaree called on him at the Presidential Palace on Friday and discussed the situation in Wanni and the political developments in South India.

Mr. Rajapaksa briefed the TULF chief in detail the measures to ensure the safety of the civilians displaced in Killinochchi and Mullathivu. He told him the LTTE had blocked those innocent civilians from entering the cleared areas but is creating a wrong picture that the government was to blame.

The TULF leader told the President that he had written a letter to Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi on the Wanni situation and urged him to prevail upon the LTTE to let people trapped in the war zone go wherever they wished. In his letter titled “What should be done”, released here on Sunday, the TULF said the Tamil People of Sri Lanka were glad that Tamil Nadu had started showing interest in the Sri Lankan ethnic problem but were disappointed that the concerns of the trapped Tamil people had been ignored.

“LTTE is using them as human shield to protect them. The people are also upset and worried that the enthusiasm displayed in Tamil Nadu is showing tendencies of confrontation with the majority community the Sinhalese, with whom the Tamils had been living from time immemorial and will have to live in the future as well.

Early solution

“Long before his assassination, Mahatma Gandhi had warned that India and Ceylon can’t afford to quarrel [with] each other, but more than that being immediate neighbours and having several things in common, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka should maintain cordial relationship between the two.”

Mr. Anandasangaree said the decision of the All Party Conference to seek the help of the central government to find an early solution was perfectly alright but it was not the immediate need of our people trapped and kept under compulsion in Killinochchi by the LTTE.

The TULF said in the interests of the Tamils, the leaders of Tamil Nadu should forget their political differences and find a solution to the ethnic problem.