Colombo : Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to the people of the country to help him liberate the Tamil-speaking people of north Sri Lanka from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers.
“Kindly grant me the opportunity to liberate the innocent and miserable masses of the north who are in grave and imminent danger at the hands of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” the state-owned Daily News quoted the president as saying at Hungama in southern Sri Lanka on Monday.
“They (the Tamil-speaking people of the north) are deprived of their basic fundamental rights, facilities and the freedom of speech which the people elsewhere in the country cherish and enjoy,” he said.
“Regardless of their wishes and discretion, men, women and children are compelled to take up arms and indulge in terrorism.
“When we give children books to further their education, the LTTE gives them arms and ammunition and deploys them for war and terrorism,” Rajapaksa added.
The president said that it was the foremost duty of his government and indeed the people of Sri Lanka to “prevent the fragmentation of the motherland”.
“Our country, your motherland should be the foremost priority and not your job and standing. Otherwise your ancestors and the generations to come will not only rebuke and curse you but also rebuke and curse your graveyards,” he said.
Earlier, speaking at another function, the president said it was time the Tamil people living in areas occupied by the LTTE in the north, like Mullaitivu district, got proper titles to their lands.
The Sri Lankan government and armed forces have vowed to take the north from the LTTE as they did in the case of the east over 2006 and 2007.
A large part of the north, known as the Wanni, is still in the hands of the LTTE. The area held by the LTTE covers the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi entirely, and Mannar and Vavuniya partially.