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Karuna welcomes de-merger of North-East

He said the North-based LTTE leadership had been denying the Eastern Tamils their legitimate rights, reports PK Balachandran.
None | By PK Balachandran, Colombo
PUBLISHED ON OCT 23, 2006 11:42 AM IST

The breakway LTTE leader Col Karuna has welcomed the Sri Lankan Supreme Court's order to de-merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces on the grounds that it will help the Eastern Tamils realise their rights and aspirations.

In a statement e-mailed to Daily Mirror the renegade Tiger leader said that the North-based LTTE leadership had been denying the Eastern Tamils and other Eastern peoples, their rights and legitimate aspirations.

But now, with the de-merger of the North and East brought about by the Supreme Court verdict,   the Eastern Tamils were getting a chance to decide their own future, he noted.

"They are no longer political orphans," Karuna said.

Earlier, the Northern leadership of the LTTE had been using the liberation war to strengthen the Northern Tamils and weaken the Easterners in many vital areas.

After revolting against the mainstream LTTE led by Velupillai Prabhakaran in March-April 2004, Karuna who is an Eastern Tamil from Kiran in Batticaloa district, highlighted the issues faced by the Eastern Tamils and floated his own political party, the Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) or Tamil Eelam Peoples' Liberation Tigers.

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