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Former Deputy Minister and LTTE's special commander for Ampara and Batticaloa Districts Vinaygamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said on Saturday that it was he who persuaded President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa not to go ahead with the carving out of an Urban Council for the Sainthamaruthu region.

During a discussion held at the Karaithivu Vipulananda Cultural Centre in Ampara, he said that the Gazette notification on the institution of Sainthamaruthu Urban Council was issued on February 14, while a demand by Tamils to upgrade the Kalmunai North Divisional Secretariat had been ignored for the past 30 years.

The Government on February 14 issued a Gazette notification establishing an Urban Council for Sainthamaruthu and dissolving the Kalmunai Municipal Council to facilitate the demarcation of borders of both the councils.

Later on, February 20 Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardane said that Government had decided to withdraw the Gazette with a view to instituting the Sainthamaruthu Urban Council with other new councils that had been proposed.

"I contacted the Subject Minister on the Gazette who denied any knowledge about the Gazette. I immediately contacted the President and the Prime Minister and persuaded them not to go ahead with the Gazette notification," he stated.

Muralitharan said that he was not against the establishment of an Urban Council for Sainthamaruthu, but the Kalmunai North Divisional Secretariat must be upgraded first and cannot be dragged on, on the pretext of delimitation, he argued.

Responding to statements made by certain TNA leaders calling him a traitor Karuna Amman said that it was the TNA leaders who were called by the LTTE as traitors.

"Once LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran-who never called me a traitor-had ordered to shoot all TNA leaders, except Mavai Senadhirajah,” he said.

He recalled that he became the Commander of the LTTE for the Ampara and Batticaloa Districts at the age of 19 and it was a record that nobody had broken.

"It was the Batticaloa fighters who created history by rushing to the north whenever the leader was in danger ever since the historic Vadamarachchi Operation (Operation Liberation), Karuna Amman claimed.


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