The LTTE peace secretariat was yesterday in the process of contacting foreign embassies in Colombo to express regret over the injuries caused by a mortar attack to a group of foreign dignitaries who were on a visit to Batticaloa.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror LTTE military wing spokesman Irasiah Illentheriyan claimed that the Batticaloa airspace was used only for military purposes and not civilian traffic and thus blamed the government for `criminal negligence.`
He also said that earlier last morning the military had launched an attack on the LTTE from the location where the diplomats` aircraft landed resulting in casualties and damages to civilian lives and property in Vavunaitivu.
`There was provocation by the Sri Lankan military from that very spot earlier in the day and we were retaliating to neutralise those attacks. This area is a military location used for military purposes. The military probably pre-planned the attack to make us retaliate. It`s a clear attempt to disrupt our diplomatic relations with the foreign countries,` Mr. Illentheriyan said.
The rebel spokesman noted when aircraft carrying NGOs or diplomats were set to land at the Palaly airbase in Jaffna the relevant authorities inform the LTTE of such arrivals in advance. However he said the procedure was not implemented yesterday by the authorities.
Mr. Illentheriyan said when they were ultimately informed that diplomats were aboard the aircraft the mortar attack was ceased. However he charged that hours later the air force bombed Vavunaitivu in an apparent retaliation damaging more civilian property.