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LTTE recruits volunteers for auxiliary forces

By V.S. Sambandan

COLOMBO, JUNE 23. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today opened recruitment for ``volunteers'' from ``citizens of Tamil Eelam'' to join the ``Tamil Eelam auxiliary force.''

A front-paged report in the Tamil daily, Sudar Oli, said announcements were made in eastern Sri Lanka calling applications from able-bodied male and female volunteers between aged 18-28 to join the ``auxiliary force.''

A monthly salary of Rs. 8,500 (around $ 85) has been offered for volunteers, who have been asked to apply at an LTTE `police station' in the eastern Batticaloa district before June 30. The announcement was made by the personnel division of the `Tamil Eelam Police Force,' the newspaper said.

The rebels' call for ``volunteers'' gains significance following the disbanding of the eastern LTTE fighters by the group's expelled Special Commander for Batticaloa-Amparai, V. Muralitharan (`Col.' Karuna), who broke ranks from the Tigers on March 3 and left for an undisclosed destination on April 12.

The latest recruitment drive is also against the backdrop of persisting differences between the LTTE and Colombo on restarting the peace process and days after the Tigers warned of ``bloodshed'' if the Government did not show ``sincerity'' in the negotiations and just before the most-feared `Black July' month.

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