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DateLine Sunday, 30 March 2008

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LTTE should denounce violence - EROS Gen Secy

Norway did hardly anything constructive:

Former military commander of the pioneer Tamil militant organisation Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) in the east, Rajanathan Prabhakaran said that the armed struggle of the LTTE would not fulfil the political aspirations of the Tamils in the North and East and the LTTE leadership should denounce its violence and concentrate on achieving the rights of the Tamils politically.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer he said that the Tamil militancy for the past two decades had done nothing but enormous destruction to the lives and properties to the Tamils in the North and East. "The Tamils want to live in peace.

Thousands have been killed and thousands more have been maimed. Forty-two-year-old Rajanathan Prabhakaran joined the EROS in 1980 and functioned as its military commander in the east until the outfit entered the political mainstream following the signing of the Indo-Lanka accord in 1987.

However, having seen all these destructions the LTTE still wants to continue with its terror activities. Therefore, I appeal to the LTTE to give up its violence and enter the political mainstream to fulfil the political aspirations of the Tamils in the North and East. He said that Norway's involvement in the peace process has done hardly anything constructive to bring the LTTE to the political mainstream.

"If the Norwegians had done their part in coming down hard on the LTTE when they engaged in the violation of the Ceasefire Agreement, the peace process would have succeeded. However, the Norwegians failed in handling the LTTE and my personal opinion is that Norway cannot function as a peace maker any more and it is India which could deliver the goods in settling the Lankan crisis," EROS Prabhakaran said.

The EROS contested the General Elections in 1991 with thirteen of its members entering Parliament from the North and East. During that period Rajanathan Prabhakaran who is the present General Secretary of the EROS was actively engaged in political activities.

However, when senior members such as V.Balakumar and K. Pararajasingham of the EROS joined the LTTE in the late nineties Rajanathan Prabhakaran remained loyal to his party EROS and carried out the party's activities.

Rajanathan Prabhakaran who has now returned to the political arena while reorganising EROS and contesting the recently held local government polls in the east is currently making arrangements to contest the forthcoming Provincial polls in the east.

Meanwhile, the Tamil National Democratic Alliance comprising the TULF, PLOTE and EPRLF (Naba) has called for an alliance including Muslim parties and others in the South for the forthcoming Provincial Council polls in the Eastern Province.

Tamil United Liberation Front Leader V. Anandasangaree told the Sunday Observer that his alliance was determined to sink differences and join hands with Muslim parties and others in the South to contest the Provincial Council polls in the East.

"We are currently working on finalising our nominations list. Unlike the Local Government polls, the Provincial Council polls are crucial in ushering in democracy and the rule of law in the East.

The Provincial Council system earlier in the North and East was a flop. However, we expect the fresh polls for Provincial Council to rekindle the democratic process in a broader way and pave the way for the democratic process in the north as well," Sangaree said.

Anandasangaree said that since the Eastern Provincial Council polls will be important with more parties showing concern, the polls should be free of all violence.

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