LTTE says air force will help claim statehood | world | Hindustan Times
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LTTE says air force will help claim statehood

world Updated: Apr 26, 2007 13:36 IST
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The LTTE has said that its newly established "Tamileelam Air Force" (TAF) will help it gain recognition in the international community as an organisation running a full-fledged "state".

"The air actions open up new possibilities in the military, political and diplomatic fields," the Tamil militant group's military spokesman Rasaiah Ilanthirayan told Hindustan Times over phone from Kilinochchi in North Sri Lanka.

"We have territory, administrative, judicial and law enforcement systems; an Army, Navy, and now an Air Force. Let's call a spade a
spade, we are a state!" he said.

The LTTE has staged two air raids, both against major Sri Lankan military targets, in the past month. The first was against the main Sri Lanka Air Force base at Katunayake near Colombo in March, and the second was against the Myliddy Army camp, 3 km from the Palaly airbase
in Jaffna in North Sri Lanka this month.

"We expect our Air Force to grow in the way our Navy, the Sea Tigers, did. The Sea Tigers began as a tiny group with a few boats. But today
we control a part of the sea. The Air Force is now a tiny one with a few prototype planes, but it will grow," Ilanthirayan said.

"A calm sea will never create a sailor. The Sea Tigers grew amidst challenges. And now, the Air Force has begun its life under turbulent
conditions," he said.