Pillayan-Karuna clash intensifies in East

By Chris Kamalendran

The government has imposed restrictions on Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan opening more political offices under the name of the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (Tamil People’s Liberation Tigers) in the Eastern Province.

An attempt by Mr. Chandrakanthan to put up a TMVP board at an office in Trincomalee last week was prevented on the instructions of Defence authorities.

A second attempt to convert a public relations office of the chief minister into a political office in Thirukkovil, Ampara has been opposed by loyalist of Cabinet Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan with a hartal campaign in the area.

Minister Muralitharan who is also opposing moves to open new TMVP offices said it could lead to ethnic disharmony in the area. “People are worried about the presence of members of the Pilliyan faction as some of the previous cadres involved in criminal activities including sexual abuse are still with him. People do not want them to be in the area,” Mr. Muralitharan said.

“It is my duty to as a minister of the government to bring this to the attention of the TMVP and preventing it from spreading anti-social activities in the province, he said.

Mr. Muralitharan charged that though Mr. Chandrakanthan had contested under the UPFA, he was continuously criticizing President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government.“This type of activities can create doubt and mistrust among the people in the South. How can we win the rights for the Tamil people in the Eastern Province,” he asked.

However, the Media Secretary for Mr. Chandrakanthan denied allegations that they were trying to create any ethnic disharmony.

“We are only trying to establish our political mechanism in the east. It is our duty to educate people as to what we are doing. That is why we are trying to set up political offices in the east,” he said.

“It is not we who created problems, but it is the close associates of Mr. Muralitharan who shot and wounded one of our close supporters,” he said. Supporters of Mr. Muralitharan have been carrying out a protest campaign for the past three days at Thirukkovil in Ampara over the opening of a political office of the TMVP.

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