Trincomalee is a place of immense reverence for the aspirants of terrorist Eelam. They consider it as the commercial capital of their elusive terrorist Eelam. Almost equal presence of Sinhala and Muslim communities in the district is a great agony for them, and establishing their supremacy in the district is a major milestone in the terrorist agenda. Rise of Karuna’s hold in the Batticaloa-Ampara districts has compelled the terrorists to accelerate their agenda and unleash violence in Trincomalee and convert it into ethnic violence against the armed forces and the Sinhala population, in a grandeur move to attain multi-faceted objectives of halting the revolt by Easern Tamils against Vanni terrorists, coerce Eastern Tamils against the Sinhalas under Vanni Tiger leadership and forcing the government to empower Vanni Tigers to administer the East. Have those who were responsible for enlarging the three-wheeler stand Buddha Statue and being blamed to have precipitated the present crisis played into the hands of terrorist innuendo or did they yield to terrorist bribes?

Normal life remains disrupted amidst hurling of bombs and hand grenades and threat of violence and murder since 17th May in the Trincomalee town. Tamil press reports allege that the General Secretary of the Trinco Auto-driver Welfare Association Keerthi Premalal is responsible for the troubles and was behind installing the modified Buddha statue. The Trincomalee district Political Head of the Vanni Tigers, Elilan has warned of serious consequences if the statue was not removed. At the same time a group named Kulakkottan, suspected to be a frontline organization of the Vanni Tigers, has issued leaflets threatening drastic action if the situation continues. Vanni Tigers have also ordered female Tamil civilians and children living in Padikkya and Patthanumber villages to vacate their houses and retreat to Salli Sambalathivu and Thorankadu villages on the Uppuveli- Nilaveli road. Security forces believe that this command could be a part of LTTE’s plan to place the blame on government forces saying they were harassing innocent Tamils and forcing them to leave the areas from where they were living.

Since the so-called ceasefire, Trincomalee district has become the theatre of intermittent ethnic harassment of Sinhala, Muslim and non- terrorist Tamil population. Gun trotting terrorist cadres have inhumanly massacred many peace-loving citizens of Sinhala , Muslim and non-terrorist Tamils, including Parliamentarians. The vast naval presence with assets worth U.S.$ 300 million and capable of defeating their sinister moves is a thorn in the flesh for the terrorist outfit. The terrorists heavily invested in strengthening and sophistication of their rogue sea-tiger unit in order to make the naval facilities obsolete. Within three months of signing of the treacherous MOU the terrorists opened up six offices in the Trincomalee Town, and several hundred terrorist cadres infiltrated the town for surveillance activities.

In their bid to establish supremacy in this vital district, just a few months after the so-called MOU was signed, the terrorist outfit forcibly established an office in the Muttur area, strategically close to Trincomalee and unleashed violence by attacking Muslim youths. The resultant clashes between the Muslims and the Tamils spread to other areas as well, and Muttur and Valachchenai became theatres of murder and destruction. 12 Muslims were brutally murdered, several hundred injured and almost all Muslim shops in Valachchenai were burnt down. Despite clear evidence of terrorist anarchy against the Muslims, Ranil Wickremasinghe government failed (remained fearful) to take appropriate action against the terrorists or condemn them for these atrocities. The treacherous Muslim Ministers of that government shamelessly absolved the terrorists from responsibility for the mayhem.

Similarly in the first week of March, when the Relief Services Force of the JVP, under the guidance of the Trincomalee district MP Mr. Jayantha Wijesekera brought in building materials for construction of temporary houses for the Tsunami displaced population of Trincomalee, the terrorists invaded and attacked the volunteers and set fire to the vehicle that transported building materials. The security forces and the Police intervened and diffused the tensed situation but the construction work had to be abandoned for security reasons.

As per historical records there had been 129 places of Buddhist sites of worship in the Northern province and 147 such sites in the Eastern province. The 4th century A.D. Lankapatuna Samudragiri Viharaya, where Prince Dantha and Princess Hemamala disembarked with the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha has already been vandalized by the terrorists and a kovil has been erected on this historical site. The historic Gokanna Viharaya has been replaced with Koneswaram Temple. A terrorist office occupies the site of cut down Kiliveddi Bo Tree. The Vanni terrorists have carried out these vandal acts as a prelude to ethnic cleansing the East from non-Tamil presence and insignias.

While instigating violence in the district, the terrorists have also launched a disinformation campaign mainly to mislead foreign countries. Terrorist mouthpiece Thamilselvan in an interview with the Tamil Daily Thinakkural states, that “in the recent days the government forces and Sinhala chauvinists are involved in espousing ethnic violence among the Tamil population. The objective of placing Buddha statues amidst multi-ethnic locations is instigation of ethnic violence for Sinhalisation of the Tamil homeland areas”. (Thinakkural : 26.05.2005)

He directly accuses the government for involvement in the troubles. The Karuna group website “Neruppu”, in the meanwhile, confirms that armed Vanni terrorists have camped in the Hindu Kovil, Trincomalee and they are armed with T-56 rifles. This gives a clear indication as to who orchestrates troubles, and repudiates Thamilselvan’s claims. Lord Buddha is also an idol worshiped by the Hindus. Therefore, there is no reason for the Tamils to get angered by the appearance or modification of a Buddhist statue. This factor too validate that the troubles in Trincomalee is a premeditated act of the terrorists. The government statement issued in this regards states "a small group of residents in Trincomalee with the assistance of several outside forces" is causing tension in the city, and fails to condemn the real culprits the Vanni Terrorists directly.

The government instead of remaining aloof to condemning the instigators of violence, should condemn them unequivocally and empower the security forces to take appropriate action to diffuse tension and restore peace in the troubled city as otherwise the troubles could spread to surrounding areas as well and at the same time apprise the foreign press and the governments against distortion of facts by the terrorist propaganda machinery.



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