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Humane touch changed me - EP Chief Minister

TRINCOMALEE: Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan said he decided to give up terrorism and work for democracy when a woman whose husband has been killed by the LTTE, offered him food and a drink while he was hiding as a terrorist in Maduru-Oya.

“We [the LTTE] in hiding, were starving in Maduru-Oya sometime back. A young Sinhala woman carrying an infant brought me food and drink. I inquired from her about her husband and she said the LTTE killed him. Her reply made me speechless. Her husband was killed by the LTTE and she was still offering the terrorists food and drinks. It was then that I decided to give up terrorism,” he said.

The Chief Minister said, the similarity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his policies and the respect he has for the Mahinda Chinthana made him join active politics and work for democracy.

He was addressing wellwishers from Samasevaya, the first ever peace group to meet him at his secretariat in Trincomalee last week.

The Chief Minister said the name Eelam attracted him.

“I joined the terrorists not clearly understanding what was happening. Later, I learnt that the leadership was not practising what they preached. If they wanted to liberate Tamils and serve the needs of the Tamils, the LTTE leadership could have contested the Provincial Council elections then and may have won.

They would now be in the democratic stream. But Prabhakaran worked according to the whims and fancies of his so called councillors,” Chandrakanthan said.

“Knowing that a group of people like me were against these councillors they alienated us. Even when the Indian Peace Keeping Forces came to Sri Lanka the so called councillors never heeded us.”

The Chief Minister said the LTTE had no clear policy or an aim.

All Tamil leaders came from the North. The Eastern Province had no say, there were no avenues for Tamils from this province to form political parties. It is not impossible to develop the North if all three ethnic groups join together.”

He said former President Chandrika Bandranaike Kumaratunga never heeded their written requests.

“She considered us as opponents and beat us down. If our requests were considered then, terrorism would have been abated and democracy prevailing in the whole country. what is needed today is establishment of peace in the North,” he said.

The Chief Minister said, the road to North should be opened and rehabilitated.

“Then any serious ethnic disturbance will not arise. I hope to establish an organisation that will work for total brotherhood among Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese communities.”

Related Story: A remarkable transformation

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