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US condemns kidnapping of Tamil workers

Pro-LTTE group TRO had alleged that its trainees were abducted by pro-Lankan Govt paramilitaries, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 14:00 IST

The United States on Tuesday condemned the kidnapping of five Tamil aid workers in Welikanda in Eastern Sri Lanka on Monday.

The pro-LTTE Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) had alleged that five of its accounts trainees, including a young lady, were kidnapped by pro-Sri Lankan government paramilitaries while they were on their way to Vavuniya from Batticaloa. The incident had occurred near a Sri Lankan Army checkpoint, the TRO added.

Reacting to this, the US embassy said in a statement that it was "concerned" about the incident, and urged the relevant authorities "rapidly investigate" the allegations.

"The Embassy again calls on all parties to exercise restraint and calm, especially in the run-up to the ceasefire talks in Geneva," it added.

The TRO is officially recognised as an NGO in Sri Lanka and is respected for its constructive work by the international community.

However, the anti-LTTE Tamil groups see it as a fifth column of the LTTE in the government-controlled areas of the Tamil-speaking North East.

The TRO is also seen as a political threat because its work could help the LTTE gain political and social legitimacy among the Tamils of the North East.

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 20:46 IST