EPDP regrets 'grave' blunder

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 10:30 GMT]
The pro-government Tamil group, Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Monday said it regretted a major blunder in an election ad it published yesterday in the Jaffna dailies Uthayan and Valampuri which may have cost it the patronage of the Sri Lankan President. "Chemmani exposed the Lady" ('Ammaniyai ambalappaduthiathu Chemmani) ran the EPDP's election ad in the Sunday edition of the papers, implicating the Sri Lankan President in the massacre of more than 600 Jaffna civilians arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces in 1996.

The mass graves in which scores of these people are believed to have been buried by the Sri Lanka army were found in Chemmani near Jaffna town last year.

In a correction carried in the Uthayan and the Valampuri dailies today, the group states "The EPDP regrets the error in the ad which occurred due to carelessness caused by an increased work-load. We request that no one should erroneously assume on the basis of yesterday's ad that the EPDP has changed its political stand".

The EPDP is contesting the elections to the Sri Lankan parliament in October in Jaffna, the Vanni and the three electoral districts of the east. However, the group's campaign work is largely concentrated in the Jaffna electoral district.

The EPDP leader Douglas Devananda and his cadres are currently based in the peninsula.


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