LTTE controls three fourth of its homeland — Balasingham

by Bandula Jayasekara in Geneva
LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham told a rally in Geneva recently that the LTTE has a de-facto administration in the areas controlled by them and his organisation is in control of 3/4th of their homeland and have their own judiciary, police, administration and law enforcement mechanisms.

Having expressed doubts whether the government would really offer a federal structure to the Tamils, Balasingham pointed out that the present state has agreed to find a solution under the federal structure after continuous fighting. He said that the LTTE has agreed to a negotiated settlement as an alternative to Tamil Eelam, which is also acceptable to the international community. The LTTE group would visit a number of countries to study federal structures and good governance.

Balasingham spoke at length about the peace process and LTTE’s determination to reach a negotiated settlement despite provocations. He said that there had been an attempt on the lives of Prabhakaran and himself in the Vanni by a deep penetration armed group recently when they were meeting dignitaries and other diplomats, but the deep penetration group had failed.

He accused the army of trying to construct a big army complex in the land belonging to the Jaffna Municipal Council and that the army did not vacate public places such as schools and temples contrary to the provisions of the MoU.

The LTTE negotiator accused the Navy Commander whose term was extended by the President for three years of trying to provoke the LTTE in order to disrupt the peace process. The LTTE cadres killed in Mullativu incident were highly trained professionals and senior cadres of the movement.

Balasingham also said that their deaths were a big loss to the LTTE and upon hearing the incident Prabhakaran was furious, but for the sake of peace did not retaliate and start another war. Balasingham also said that only Sri Lankan Tamils and the LTTE couldn’t move freely in the seas whereas Indians and Chinese trawlers continued to fish. However, he claimed that the LTTE did not have any hand in the attack on the Chinese trawler but the LTTE had on several occasions threatened Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

Speaking on India’s position, Balasingham said that now India feels marginalised due to the involvement of other countries, such as Norway, Japan, USA and the European Union, which are not from the region. He said that India still wanted to play a role in Sri Lanka but does not want to get involved. Balasingham asked the Indian government to speak to the LTTE and to its leader Prabhakaran and assist in the peace process and not to speak to the leader of the TULF Anandasangaree or EPDP leader Douglas Devananda.

He appealed to the expatriate community and nearly one million Tamils living abroad to continue their contributions to the cause of the LTTE during the times of peace as they were doing during the times of hostilities since resources were needed to build infrastructure and reiterated that the Tamil Diaspora was also a part and parcel of Tamil Eelam.

He appealed to the Swiss government not to send refugees back to Sri Lanka until a final solution was reached to the problem.