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Last updated: 21 September, 2008 - Published 12:40 GMT
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JVP opposes Tamil registration
Vijitha Herath, MP
JVP says Govt. move might push Tamil people towards the LTTE
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has protested the government's order for the people from the north to register in centres set up in the capital and the suburbs.

Sri Lanka's police have started registering thousands of people, nearly all ethnic Tamils, who have fled the war-torn north for the capital Colombo.

All those who arrived in the city in the last five years were ordered to attend special registration centres.

It comes after the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the separatist Tamil Tigers were using the influx of people to infiltrate the city and plant bombs.

Tamil parties divided

JVP media secretary Vijitha Herath, MP, told BBC Sandeshaya that the government should not push Tamils towards the LTTE by deliberately targeting them in Colombo.

CWC leader A Thondaman taking oaths as a minister
CWC says the government's move is unconstitutional

The party supports a systematic approach through government officials to collect data on migrants in Colombo, but it is wrong for the police to deliberately target Tamils, he said.

"The constitutional right of the people to live anywhere they wish is not protected by using the police to forcefully register these people," Vijitha Herath said.

However, two main political parties representing Tamils of Indian origin have differed over the issue.

 We consider this act unconstitutional since the action taken by the police is against the regulations issued by the Supreme Court
CWC deputy leader, R Yogarajan

Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a constituent member in the ruling coalition led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has strongly opposed the move.

National Organiser of the CWC, R Yogarajan, told the BBC that the latest police move was in violation of a court order on registering people.

"We consider this act unconstitutional since the action taken by the police is against the regulations issued by the Supreme Court ," he said.

UPF 'no objection'

The Up Country Peoples Front (UPF), another member of the ruling coalition, says the party does not oppose because it does not affectTamils of Indian origin.

UPF leader P Chandrasekaran taking oaths as a minister
UPF says the party does not condone or oppose the move

"Our main concern is to prevent people being arrested. It is very difficult to get them released once arrested," senior UPF leader and deputy minister P Radhakrishnan told BBC Sandedshaya.

Over 1200 Tamils of Indian origin are currently in custody in different parts in the island, the minister said, and the UPF is in regular contact with the police to get them released.

The registration is aimed at those arrived from Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mulativu, Mannar and Vavuniya during the last five years, minister Radhakrishnan said.

"I am not saying we are supporting this move. But this is not directly aimed at our people," he told

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