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DateLine Sunday, 24 February 2008

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Kosovo - no precedent to Eelam

Tamil politicians reject LTTE's attempt of UDI

While the LTTE and its sympathisers were overjoyed with Kosovo's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Serbia, and trying to draw a parallel between Kosovo and the North East, Tamil politicians said that the LTTE's desire will not be fruitful without the support of the international community.

The leader of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V. Anandasangaree while strongly opposing the LTTE using innocent civilians as scapegoats said that no one could see any similarities between Kosovo and the LTTE which are two different entities. "These two are entirely different situations and I do not think there would be anyone in the international community to back the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakharan in his attempt to declare UDI", he said.

Anandasangaree said that if countries which have similar issues set Kosovo as an example the world would be divided into several separate states. "If India set Kosovo as an example there would be several units as they have several issues within their country. This development should not be taken seriously", he said.

Condemning the LTTE for using innocent civilians in the battle front, the TULF leader said that he was very sad to note that the LTTE have their bunkers in the villages tempting the military to attack the terrorists. "If they are real freedom fighters they should be in the jungle areas without placing lives of innocent villagers at risk", he said.

He questioned the international community over their silence on the LTTE acts. He pointed out that it is high time the international community demand the LTTE to move into jungles to launch their offensives.

The leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) Dharmalingam Sidarthan said that Kosovo declared UDI as they had the backing of the US and EU countries but there would be nobody to back the LTTE to declare the North and East as a separate state. "The LTTE sympathisers who are thrilled by this declaration can launch a massive propaganda as they are unaware of ground realities", he said.

Sidarthan said that the LTTE's attempt would not be successful without the support of India. "India will not support the outfit. Even if the LTTE declares UDI, they cannot survive as the entire North and East region still depends on the government. Even dry rations for refugees are supplied by the government and how can the LTTE maintain a separate state without anyone's support ?, he said.

"I strongly believe that the LTTE should not use civilians as human shields. This was proved in the Vakarai operation where the military found several bunkers around the hospital. This shows how the LTTE puts the lives of innocent people into danger", he said. The Sri Lankan government objecting to the Kosovo UDI declaration have stated that it was an unmanageable precedent and posed a grave threat to international security.

A press release issued by the Foreign Ministry states that Kosovo had declared independence without the consent of the majority of the people of Serbia and the secession was a violation of the UN Charter, which has enshrined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member States.

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