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LTTE IMPOSES TAXES EVEN ON SRI LANKA GOVERNMENT OWNED GOODS; WICKREMESINGHE'S UNF GOVERNMENT IS SILENT IN EMBARRASSMENT
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

In Sri Lanka the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is still a terrorist group proscribed under the island nation's law. But the country's lawfully elected government of Ranil Wickremesinghe has entered into an agreement with the unlawful group. Making the so called peace process more comical the terrorist group is now imposing taxes on goods belonging to the lawfully elected government itself before the goods enter what the terrorist group calls "Tamil Eelam", a putative state to be carved out of the island's Northern and Eastern provinces.

The State Timber Corporation and the government run Building Materials Corporation who want to do business with Sri Lanka citizens in the North are just two examples of the comical nature of the government's so called peace process.

Almost ten lorries carrying building materials to Jaffna from Colombo on Highway A9 were stopped at Omanthai and asked to return to Colombo by the LTTE cadres manning their check point recently. The reason: the government corporation could not pay the taxes imposed on them by the LTTE government.

Having learned the bitterest lesson of the country's so called peace process the lorries indeed returned to Colombo.

Earlier the State Timber Corporation lorries faced the same dilemma when they were asked to pay heavy taxes for their goods.

Though the problem has persisted there for a long time the government has kept silent about it. (EOM)

(28/07/02 go2lanka.com)

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