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Army gave us shelter: Karuna's ex-aide

By V.S. Sambandan

COLOMBO, JUNE 21 . The LTTE's internal split took a different turn today, with a former accomplice of the rebellious eastern military commander, V. Muralitharan (`Col.' Karuna) reportedly alleging that the Sri Lankan Army provided them shelter in the island's capital, Colombo, after he left his eastern base in April.

The pro-LTTE website, TamilNet, quoted Nilavini, the former commander of the LTTE's women's wing in Batticaloa-Amparai, as saying that they were initially put up in a five-star hotel in the city and then shifted to two safe houses.

Sri Lanka's defence authorities have consistently denied charges by the LTTE that they were sheltering `Col.' Karuna.

Ms. Nilavini, according to the report, claimed that she had "escaped'' from the safe house after Karuna left the place on June 13, after telling them that "he was going abroad with his family.''

There is no independent confirmation of the comments reportedly made by Ms. Nilavini and three other women cadres in rebel-held Batticaloa today.

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