Sampanthan outlines his views on militarisation of the North-East in the Sri Lankan parliament on Friday:
Here's a video of his address, extracts reproduced below:
"There seems to be a rather mistaken belief among some people in this country that the Tamil people want the armed forces out of the North and East, that's not correct. Let me put it on record, that we realise and we accept that the armed forces have got to be present in the North and East, as they are in the whole country. We only ask that the presence of the armed forces in the North and the East, is not in such a manner as to be oppressive of the Tamil people, as to subjugate the Tamil people, as to make them feel that being whole citizens in this country."
"We don't want them there in such large numbers, because when they are there in such large numbers, their presence is oppressive. Their presence is a humiliation to us, their presence has an impact on our self-respect and dignity, it makes us unequal. It makes us second class citizens, that is what we don't want.
"We do not feel that they should not be there. They can be there in the camps, do their activities as before the war, maintain their intelligence, have their surveillance."