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Last updated: 26 October, 2008 - Published 12:08 GMT
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Don't support LTTE - TMVP tells TN
Pillayan (L) and Karuna
TMVP leaders say they understand the concerns raised in TN
A Tamil political party in Sri Lanka has urged protesters in Tamil Nadu not to support the Tamil Tigers.

The leaders of the paramilitary turned political party, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) told a rally in Batticaloa that they understand the concerns raised by the people in Tamil Nadu over Sri Lanka's conflict.

Journalists say that 5000-7000 people attended the rally organised on the wake of continuing protests in Tamil Nadu over the plight of the civilians caught in the conflict in the island.

Government owned buses were seen carrying people from surrounding districts.

TMVP 'divisions'

Eastern province chief minister, Sivanesathurai chandrakanthan (Pillayan) and recently appointed MP, Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan (Karuna) both addressed the rally.

A poster destributed among the participants
Poster urged authorities to send food to civilians in Vanni

It was the first time Karuna, who broke away from the LTTE in 2004, addressed a public gathering.

However, the two leaders were not seen speaking with each other, journalists say. The two factions have publicly clashed over devolution of police powers to the region.

Earlier, Karuna's statement that the eastern province should not be given police powers was disputed by TMVP chairman Kumarasamy Nandagopan, also known as Raghu claiming that Karuna's position is not that of the party.

In his address, Karuna accused "certain parties" of trying to create divisions in the TMVP.

Addressing the gathering the chief minister said that there should be political solution to the national question while militarily defeating the LTTE.

Protesters were seen carrying placards urging the authorities to send food to civilians in the Vanni region.

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