Minister Milinda Moragoda was in Trincomalee yesterday to meet the protesting relatives of the abducted soldiers. The minister who met the relatives and members of the general community and community leaders assured that the government was doing everything possible to obtain the release of the soldiers.
The minister’s visit followed a massive demonstration Friday where protesters asked the government to give an assurance of the safe return of the soldiers. The minister met relatives at the protest site opposite the town’s clock tower and the community and religious leaders at the police headquarters. He told the latter that the incident was one of the many challenges that would be posed to the ongoing peace efforts. “There may be greater challenges in this time of cease-fire”, he said, giving guarantees that the government would do its utmost to facilitate the release of the soldiers.
He sents message to the LTTE via SLMM head General Trond Furuhovde who met them yesterday that the arrest and remand of the LTTE cadres was in terms of the law of the land and the detention of the soldiers was a separate incident altogether.
He was accompanied on his visit by the head of the army Major General Lionel Balagalle and Bernard Gunatilleke of the Peace Secretariat.
Meanwhile, the relatives will continue their protest which commenced Thursday.