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PM Jayaratne lands in trouble over LTTE statement

world Updated: Mar 11, 2011 17:55 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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A day after India denied that Tamil separatists were being trained in Tamil Nadu, the main Sri Lankan opposition party, the United National Party (UNP), called for the resignation of Prime Minister DM Jayaratne for making the statement in Parliament about the camps.

On Wednesday, Jayaratne, during a debate on extending Emergency laws in Sri Lanka, said LTTE cadres were being trained in three camps in Tamil Nadu. During the same debate, opposition chief, Ranil Wickeremesinghe had pointed out that if the information was true, it should be shared with New Delhi.

India was quick to reject the claim with the Ministry of External Affairs – as well as the Tamil Nadu police – categorically denying the presence of any such camps.

Trying to control the diplomatic damage, Jayaratne was quoted as having said on Thursday that he was misled by some newspaper reports.

It, however, left the Lankan government in a spot of bother. On Friday, the Daily Mirror online, quoted as minister Dullas Alahapperuma as saying that the ``incorrect statement made by Prime Minister Jayaratna was a closed chapter as he himself has made a statement accepting the mistake.’’

But the opposition began gunning for him. Jayaratne should resign for misleading the Parliament by making a false statement on LTTE camps in South India, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told reporters on Friday. Daily Mirror online quoted him as saying that any member who misleads Parliament should resign as per the tradition.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said Jayaratne should apologise to the Parliament and the public over his false claims in Parliament that LTTE camps have been set up in Tamil Nadu.

According to Adaderana website, the JVP said it was a grave offence to abuse parliamentary privileges and mislead the public. Furthermore, the statement was baseless and is unfavorable to the country in a diplomatic manner, the party pointed out.