President, PM must act now to stop LTTE build-up in Trinco – JVP

Claiming that the ongoing LTTE build-up in Trincomalee threatens security forces facilities, particularly the strategic Trincomalee navy base, the JVP yesterday slammed President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for turning a blind eye to the deteriorating situation in the east.

JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday accused the President and the Premier of allowing the LTTE to take advantage of a ceasefire agreement to slowly but steadily bolster its position in and around Trincomalee. Since the agreement, LTTE terrorists have established three camps in the government-held parts of the Trincomalee district, he said. "Now they are in the process of setting up another," he charged.

Weerawansa is convinced that the LTTE is on the verge of resuming hostilities.

The JVP parliamentary group leader said that the LTTE would strike if its counter proposals to the government’s proposals on the establishment of an interim north-east administration didn’t find favour with the government. "They will blame the government for refusing to accept their so-called justifiable demands. Then they will strike," he said, adding that their primary target will be the navy base in Trincomalee. A devastating attack on Trincomalee will disrupt the sea supply route to the Jaffna peninsula and the Jaffna islands. That would be disastrous, he said, claiming that crippling of Trincomalee would pave the way for the LTTE to make rapid progress in a series of lightning attacks on the forces.

He ridiculed the President for failing to use her executive powers. Stressing the need to act swiftly, he accused the President of ignoring the threat and thereby jeopardising national security. "The President repeatedly reminds the country that she remains the executive president and also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. But unfortunately she had not used her power in the best interests of the country. So what is the use? he asked.

The Prime Minister wouldn’t act even if the LTTE sets up a camp in Temple Trees, he said. Norwegian-led Scandinavian truce monitors wouldn’t be able to implement the ceasefire agreement. There was no point in expecting them to act. The President and the Prime Minister must act now, he said. (SF)