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Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > Fourth Session of Peace Talks in Thailand & Aftermath > LTTE seeks funds to modernise its armed forces

Norwegian Peace Initiative

LTTE seeks funds from Tamils in Switzerland to modernise army
Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 26 January 2003

Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, Tiger Guerilla "Commander" for the East and a member of LTTE's peace negotiating team, has appealed for continued financial support of the Tamil expatriate community to maintain their military strength.

"Our fighters should be kept fit and properly looked after," he told them at a meeting in Switzerland on December 7 during a visit there after he took part in the third round of peace talks in Oslo.

He said their pledges made at the aid donor conference in Oslo last month were not for military needs. They are to be used for rehabilitation of Tamil people. Hence financial support to maintain LTTE's strong military capability should be forthcoming.
According to a transcript of the speech obtained by The Sunday Times, Mr. Muralitharan had said: "Your stay in Switzerland and your financial assistance will give us strength and power. We can achieve whatever we want in the battlefield.

We can do it now but we need to strengthen our military capability. We need to modernize our forces." "The MoU that was signed with the Sri Lanka Government is in our favour. This is because Bala Anna (Anton Balasigham) is an expert and is very skilled in political matters. Even at the peace negotiating table we take it easy and go about things smoothly. We have nothing to be confused about.

"But our counterparts, (the government delegation) run here and there, because they have to discuss with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (on the telephone) every ten minutes.

They do not allow him even to sleep. We have no such problems. We are in a position of strength. We have all the expert resource personnel from all over the world. You do not have to worry about the battlefield. We have a lot of commandos waiting.

"For negotiations, our own erudite scholars are th.ere from the world's capitals. Bala Anna has to fight for the Muslim cause as well. The Muslim leaders are squabbling among themselves for political positions.

"Compared to Wanni, our financial position in Baticaloa and Ampara are different. In Baticaloa, we have been taxing both Tamil and Muslims but after an agreement with Muslims we do not tax them any more. But the entire economy is in the hands of the Muslims in Baticaloa. Our Tamil people are really at the bottom economically. Now, those who accept our taxation system are giving us five per cent of their monthly income.

They are not willing to give us 20 per cent. If we stop at this stage, we may have to starve. So you must understand our situation."


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