Maheswaran meets with Nedunthivu protesters
[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 November 2002, 16:57 GMT]
In a Ministry of Defence authorized visit, the Hindu Religious Affairs
Minister Mr.T.Maheswaran Sunday travelled to Nedunthivu (Delft Island) and met
with the protesters who are on a fast demanding the members of the para
military Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) vacate the island, sources said.
The Nedunthivu residents brought to the notice of the minister that six
EPDP cadres now staying in the office of the Nedunthivu Divisional Secretariat
(DS) Saturday night entered a house in eastern part of the village and threatened the
occupants with death if fasting is not called off.
The Minister reported the matter to the Nedunthivu Police authorities
and requested the Police to prevent EPDP cadres in the DS
office from moving about in the village after dusk.
Minister Maheswaran directly witnessed the EPDP cadres using it as their boarding house when he went to the Neduntheivu DS office. When the minister
inquired about their activities, heated argument ensued between the
Minister and EPDP cadres, sources said.
Minister Mr. Maheswaran promised the villagers that he would be taking
immediate steps to send enough food and other essential items. Earlier the
Sri Lanka Navy had blocked a group of Jaffna University students who took
foodstuff to be distributed to Nedunthivu villagers.
The Minister returned to Jaffna mainland around 5 p.m Sunday. after
three-hour stay in Nedunthivu, sources said.
Sources say that of the 43 EPDP cadres who entered Nedunthivu, only 32 are now staying in the DS office and that the whereabouts of the other eleven EPDP cadres are not known.