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LTTE moves to control north-east
Talks to shift Jaffna Agriculture Faculty to Kilinochchi
The LTTE has demanded the relocation of the Jaffna University Agricultural Faculty, to Kilinochchi in the LTTE controlled Wanni region in one of the first steps towards taking control of administrative activities in the north.

The demand was made by LTTE's Political Wing Secretary S.P.Thamil- chelvan when he summoned the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University, Prof. T.Balasubramaniampillai and six other Deans for a meeting in the Wanni this week. This is the first time that state officials have been summoned to the Wanni for a discussion with the LTTE.

The Jaffna university has been operating with funds provided by the University Grants Commission and the request for any change will need to have the approval of Colombo.

UGC Vice Chairman Lakshman Ratnayake said that Colombo had not been informed of such a meeting and such a decision would need the approval of Colombo.

However some of the academic staff are reportedly reluctant to shift to Kilinochchi as they would have to pay more taxes similar to what their colleagues have been paying in the eastern province.

The move was seen as a direct attempt by the LTTE to gain direct control over the administrative activities in the north as they begin to push for the establishment of the interim council in the north and eastern provinces.

The move to gain control over the administration in the north comes in the wake of further complaints that the government was slow in implementing the ceasefire agreement.

A committee including Tamil National Alliance (TNA), government and LTTE representatives will this week travel to places in the north to check on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. The decision to appoint such a committee came after a meeting between the TNA Parliamentarians and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Head of the Monitoring Mission General Trond Furuhovde met Mr.Thamil Chelvan on Friday evening to discuss key issues relating to the ceasefire agreement, a spokesman for the Monitoring Mission said. The other issues which were discussed were the issue of a separate sea route for the LTTE from the uncleared areas to the eastern coast, public transport on the A 9 road and the joint inspection of places of religious worship and schools, the spokesman said.

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