Sri Lankan Tamils will face embargo, warns Vaiko

Place: Sri lanka | Courtesy: New Ind Express
| Date: 20000100

CHENNAI: MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Wednesday expressed fears that evacuation of the Sri Lankan army from Jaffna might lead to an imposition of economic embargo on the Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government.

``In a similar situation before 1995, the Sri Lankan Government did not allow supply of even medicines or food in Tamil-populated areas. Food and medicines were used as weapons of war,'' Vaiko told a press conference.

``Evacuation on what condition?'' Vaiko retorted to a query on his opinion on the possibility of India helping in evacuation of Lankan troops from Jaffna. However, he indicated that the Indian Government could extend help if ceasefire conditions are acceptable to both sides.

Vaiko said the island's government failed to seize the opportunity to retrieve its troops when the Tigers offered a ceasefire. The Lankan Government did so because it was expecting arms from other countries. They have rejected peace offers whenever their army gained the upper hand. But they seek Indian help when it faces a reverse situation.

``If the Sri Lankan Government is not able to maintain its integrity, it is their problem,'' Vaiko said adding that the stand taken by the Indian Government in the ethnic crisis was ``commendable.''

Vaiko refused to comment on Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's opinion that the LTTE could not be the saviour of the Tamils. ``It is his opinion. You cannot create fissures between us.''

Vaiko said the Lankan government had, from the late 1940s, failed to honour political agreements including the Timpu talks. ``Tamil Eelam is the only solution to the crisis,'' he reiterated.

However, he felt the LTTE would not declare Tamil Eelam if the Tigers captured Jaffna. ``The situation will be the same as prior to 1995.'' Asked if the two sides were not tired of the war, Vaiko said, ``It is the media that is tired of the war.''

Though he is not for a ban on the LTTE, Vaiko accepted the majority opinion. ``I do not want to embarass the Government'' he said.

Vaiko dismissed as ``baseless, malicious and vicious,'' Sri Lankan president Chandrika's remarks in a newspaper interview that the LTTE had recruited people from south India. It is nothing but falsehood, he said about Chandrika's claim that a couple of thousands of Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu were acting as LTTE cadres.

STATE CONFERENCE: Vaiko said MDMK's state conference at Erode on July 1 and 2 would be attended by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Union Home Minister L K Advani, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Railways Minister Mamta Banerjee, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, PMK leader S Ramadoss and BJP State general secretary L Ganesan.