Minister, journalists meet Nedunthivu residents
[TamilNet, Friday, 29 November 2002, 07:43 GMT]
Hundreds of residents of Nedunthivu (Delft island) in Jaffna district fasting for the thirteenth day against the presence of para military Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) told a group of visiting journalists Thursday that they would continue their campaign until the EPDP cadres left their village.
Forty members of EPDP now housed in the offices of the Assistant Government Agent, Pradeshya Sabah and private buildings under the protection of the Police and Sri Lanka Navy personnel told the journalists that they will not be pressured by the fasting to leave Nedunthivu.
A group of about fifty journalists accompanied by Minister and Jaffna district United National Front (UNF) parliamentarian Mr. T.Maheswaran and Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA)parliamentarian Mr.N.Raviraj left Jaffna in a SLN craft to Nedunthivu around 9 a.m and stayed in Nedunthivu until 6 p.m, sources said.
Mr.Maheswaran, Mr. Raviraj and journalists first talked to the residents who were fasting. Residents told journalists that they were subjected to several atrocities committed by the EPDP members when they were “ruling" Nedunthivu for the last twelve years. The EPDP was behind several unsolved murders, criminal activities and sexual assaults on girls in the village. Anarchy prevailed in the village under the control of the EPDP, the residents told the MPs.
"We cannot allow such situation to continue in future. Hence we decided to fast until EPDP members leave our village," said residents.
"EPDP members are being provided with lodging facilities and food by the Police and SLN, one of the journalists, on his return to Jaffna mainland, said.
Journalists said that the District Secretariat and Pradeshya Sabah are not functioning since the EPDP members are residing there.