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Pro-Tiger party leader says LTTE not totally defeated

world Updated: Feb 08, 2009 16:54 IST
Pro-Tiger party leader says LTTE not totally defeated

Asserting that the LTTE has not been "vanquished", a senior leader of a pro-Tiger party has said that his group will oppose any "repressive" role by India in the resolution of the 25-year-old conflict in the island.

Asked whether the ongoing offensive against the LTTE was to the satisfaction of the Indian government, Suresh Premachandran, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, said "I think so."

"There must be some happy sentiments as the war is stepped up...," the TNA MP told 'The Sunday Leader'.

Premachandran claimed that India did not appear worried about the departure from the merger of east and northern Sri Lanka as provided under the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord.

The Eastern Provincial Council elections were successfully held in May last year to restore democracy in the region after it was captured from the LTTE in July 2007.

"They (India) should realise, it is a serious departure from what they brokered. What is more, if the role India seeks to play in the resolution of the conflict is also repressive, then we will oppose it," he told the newspaper.

"They played a role before and there was some acceptance. It was not implemented and India did not try to ensure it was duly implemented," Premachandran said.

On whether the LTTE has been completely defeated, Premachandran said it was not true.

"I don't accept that the LTTE has been vanquished. It is not that kind of force in the first instance. But that the government has been capturing territory at great cost and hardship to the civilian population is a fact," Premchandran said.

"The (Sri Lankan) army has chased the people to a corner. Wherever the army is, the LTTE is still there but remains quiet. These are generally known as tactical withdrawals but the government would not want to admit to such," he told the newspaper.

He claimed that there had also been retaliatory attacks by the LTTE but that there was an "information block".

"The army controls areas but where there is no concentration and the army is thinly dispersed, LTTE cadres roam free," the parliamentarian said.

"There have been backlashes in the areas that are government-controlled and cleared by the army months ago. This happens because there is LTTE cadre presence," Premachandran claimed.

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