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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sri Lanka Govt Warns Against Commemorating LTTE; ‘Can be Done Privately ‘

(PTI) The Sri Lankan government today warned that any attempt to commemorate LTTE on the sixth anniversary of the end of the three-decade long battle will not be condoned.

“Anyone trying to commemorate the LTTE which was a terror group will not be approved by the government. There are elements who want to misuse the new democratic freedom in the country to show that terrorism could rise its head again,” senior minister Karu Jayasuriya said.

The government’s response came as some members of the Tamil-controlled northern provincial council yesterday inaugrated a week-long commemoration of the Tamils who died in the final battle with the army in 2009.

M K Shvajilingam, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member, however, dismissed accusations that he was commemorating the fallen LTTE members.

The LTTE is a banned outfit in the island and any commemoration of it since 2009 was not permitted by the security forces.

The over three-decade long separatist campaign of the LTTE ended in May 2009 when Sri Lankan military crushed the militants, who were fighting for an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils.

According to UN estimates, up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by security forces during the conflict.
Commemorating LTTE dead only privately – Karu

rememberence eventThe commemoration of those who died during the war can be done privately, but since the LTTE is a banned terrorist organization, this cannot be done publicly, Public Administration, Local Government and Democratic Governance Minister Karu Jayasuriya said.

Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the Information Department yesterday, the minister said since the LTTE is a banned terrorist organization commemoration of terrorists could not be approved. “However, the remembrance of people who had died is a long standing tradition and it can be done privately.

“When we visited the North and the East we saw the Tamil community is working closely with the soldiers. Our endeavour is to further link them and remove their fears and doubts” he noted.

The Minister said his Ministry has commenced a programme to improve Tamil Language Proficiency of the Army personnel. He said that it has been made compulsory for all public servants to learn both Sinhala and Tamil.


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