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Thursday, 24 January 2002  
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Government - Gazette

Sunday Observer

Budusarana On-line Edition

Karikalan supports campaign to ban anti-personnel mines

by Florence Wickramage

LTTE Northern leader Karikalan has pledged his fullest support for the campaign organised by the Inter Religious Peace Foundation to present a 2 million signature petition to the government and the LTTE to ban the use of anti-personnel mines. This was disclosed by the President of the Inter Religious Peace Foundation Ven. Madampagama Assaji Thera.

Karikalan expressed his support when a delegation of the Peace Foundation met representatives of the LTTE movement on January 19th at the LTTE Northern headquarters at Kokkadicholai to canvass support for the anti-personnel mines ban and to assess their support for the Peace initiative of the Government and the LTTE.

The Inter Religious Foundation hopes to present the 2 million signature petition against the use of anti-personnel mines to the Government, the LTTE and the United Nations in March.

Karikalan told the delegation that the people in the South in electing the present government had shown their desire for peace. "Therefore, it is our duty to reciprocate favourably. Eventhough regrettably certain members of the Government and the Opposition have expressed different opinions regarding the Peace initiative, we are pleased with the Government's humanitarian program aimed at providing basic needs to the people of the North and East. We hope to extend the truce further. The Tamil people in the North and the East have been convinced about the efforts now taken by the Government and the Sinhala people."

Karikalan also said that they were in the process of removing anti-personnel mines and that certain schools in the North had been closed due to this problem.

The Inter Religious Peace Foundation was represented by the Ven. Madampagama Assaji Thera, Swamiji Kadamba Kananadas and the Executive Director of the Foundation Rev. Freddie de Alwis.

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