UNP meets South African peace group
[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A South African human rights organization, Dravidians for Peace and Justice (South African Chapter), say they have held a meeting with a representative of the UNP, the main Sri Lankan opposition party, in Johannesburg to discuss the current conflict and human rights in Sri Lanka.
In a press release issued on April 22, the DPJ say that two of their representatives, Dr.P.Lingham and Mr.G. Veerabadren, met Dr. Jayawardanna (Ed: one name supplied) at the home of a South African MP, Dr.E.Jassat.
Dr. Jayawardanna had "presented a package put together by the UNP" and "sought a mandate.. and assistance" from the DPJ "to interact directly with concerned groups in Europe" according to its press release. The press release did not elaborate on the nature or contents of the package.
The DPJ said that it had requested Dr. Jayawardanna to call, from within and outside Sri Lanka, for "immediate lifting of food and medicines embargo to the Jaffna area", "an immediate cessation of aerial bombings of civilians" and "the unbanning of the LTTE to allow for engagement in negotiation."
Dr. Jayawardanna had also been requested to "declare that the conflict can no longer be regarded as a domestic matter and that international intervention is required to bring peace to the island", "request third party international mediation" and "call on the international community to stop all financial and military aid to Sri Lanka" according to the DPJ.
The DPJ had also requested Dr. Jayawardanna to call on the Sri Lankan government "to allow for free and unhindered access of all areas of Sri Lanka" by the international media and humanitarian organisations.
Dr. Jayawardanna had agreed to the DPG's requests, said the press release.
The Dravidians for Peace and Justice say that they are "committed to the upliftment and propagation of human rights values" and that their "current focus is the conflict situation in Sri Lanka and the alleged gross human rights violations taking place there."
The DPJ say they "will pursue any and all peaceful means to attain peace for all Sri Lankans" and that they "are given to believe [Dr. Jayawardanna] is also pursuing peace for Sri Lanka from a human rights perspective."