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TAMIL TIGERS IN REPLY TO AMERCAN APPEAL TO SHUN VIOLENCE SAYS AS LONG AS SRILANKA HAD AN ARMY THEY WOULD HAVE ONE TOO.
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

Replying to US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage who requested a ‘public renunciation of terrorism and violence’ from the Tamil Tigers the terrorist group said that as long as Sri Lanka had an army it was necessary for them to maintain a standing army.

Replying the US government, The Tamil Guardian, the main organ of the Liberation of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said as long as the Sri Lankan military remained a danger the Tamil people would insist the LTTE maintained its standing army.

The LTTE has declared in this policy that it was necessary for them to run a parallel army with that of the government of Sri Lanka and determined to keep it that way.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam while maintaining its friendly relations with the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration not only maintains a parallel army and navy it has opened parallel law courts and police stations in the island nation’s Northern and Eastern provinces. .

Reiterating the stand taken by the Chief negotiator of the LTTE Anton Balasingham the Tamil Guardian editorial also rejected labeling what they practiced as terrorism by the United States.

At this stage of negotiations , the editorial said “demanding the LTTE publicly pledges to give up armed struggles serves no practical purpose” .

Describing the Sri lanka army “as elusive” and dangerous the editorial further pointed out, “to make a unilateral pledge to give up armed struggle without a permanent political solution being implemented” will be interpreted contempt for the Tamil people’s plight”.(EOM)

(28/11/02 go2lanka.com)

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