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Mahinda proposes Trinco solution
Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse who visited Trincomalee for an extensive on-the-spot probe has warned that the security forces could become vulnerable because the state media was being used to demoralize them.

In a report to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the opposition leader said there had been a big exodus of LTTE cadres from the North to the East and thus the Tigers had increased and expanded their camps.

He accused the government of not pushing for the dismantling of the LTTE camps in Trincolmalee, though LTTE Political Wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan had said that any camp that posed a problem to the peace process would be removed.

He said villagers around these camps had told him that they could hear the Tigers training in the area with live ammunition. He said he had spent time with 64 Sinhala families in Vilgam Viharaya - the scene of an LTTE massacre - and found that they were suffering terribly without basic needs such as food, water and electricity.

The plight of the Muslims in the area was equally bad. Mr. Rajapakse said he had visited a refugee camp where for 13 years Muslim families were living in two Paddy Marketing Board warehouses and Muslim politicians appeared to be doing little for them.

As part of the solution to the crisis, Mr. Rajapakse has proposed the development of the Trincomalee fort area as a tourist zone as it could then serve as a buffer zone to prevent clashes between government and LTTE forces.

He said he would meet the President and relevant ministers to discuss remedial measures in Trincomalee while he reiterated the appeal to the state media to desist from carrying reports that demoralize the security forces.

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