Thursday, 17 June 2004  
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Forces, LTTE discuss security situation

by Ranil Wijayapala

The Security Forces and LTTE representatives in Batticaloa yesterday further discussed the security situation in the area at a meeting at Vavunativu Divisional Secretariat under the chairmanship of Roar Holm, acting Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Batticaloa office.

LTTE Special Commander for Batticaloa and Amparai T. Ramesh had not turned up at this meeting as scheduled.

It has been agreed, according to Holm, to ease the body checks of LTTE cadres at these check points and confine to the verification of identity cards of the LTTE cadres.

The decision has been taken following LTTE representatives, headed by the LTTE Political Chief in Batticaloa, complained about the large number of barriers imposed by the Security Forces in Batticaloa area and claims that the LTTE cadres are being harassed in the hands of Security Forces.

However, Brigadier Vajira Wijegunawardene who represented the Sri Lanka Army at this meeting, had told them that the prime aim of the setting up of those check points was to capture criminal elements responsible for recent killings in Batticaloa.

He has pointed out that instead of Karuna faction cadres, Security Forces detected two LTTE cadres with arms at these check points recently. Brigadier Wijegunawardene has pointed out that it was not possible to reduce the number of check points at this time.

The two parties also agreed that Army personnel at Kajuwatta entry exit point will not move towards LTTE areas, referring to the recent shooting incident by two LTTE cadres.

The two parties also agreed that Brigadier Wijegunawardene along with the LTTE would visit the Vakaneri area to ensure the demarcation lines in the area.

The two parties had also agreed to hold meetings once a month instead of once in fortnight. The next meeting is scheduled for July 17.

Senior Army personnel and Police officers in Batticaloa had participated at the meeting headed by Holm.

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