Jaffna undergrads defy EPDP tactics

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 September 2001, 18:51 GMT]
Jaffna University undergraduates Wednesday forced their way into the office of the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority for the North (RRAN) to protest and argue with officials who refused to grant them travel permits to leave the peninsula. The students protested that they had obtained due permission from the Ministry of Defence to leave Jaffna for their holidays and that the RRAN officials were deliberately refusing to issue them tickets for the ship to Trincomalee at the instigation of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP).

Tickets were eventually issued to 70 students following a heated altercation with RRAN officials and armed cadres of the EPDP, sources said.

Minister and EPDP General Secretary Mr.D.Devananda (right) with his armed body guard. (TamilNet Library photo)
Students said that EPDP cadres armed with assault rifles had come to the RRAN office upon hearing the commotion and threatened them.

When it was clear that the students could not be coerced with threats, the EPDP cadres had told them (the students) that they should first discuss their problems with Mr. Douglas Devananda, MP, a key ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and then obtain their tickets.

The students said they rebuffed the suggestion as they had already got due permission from the MoD and therefore under no obligation to seek assistance in the matter from Mr. Devananda.

They said the EPDP had deliberately instructed RRAN officials to refuse the issue to tickets so that they (the students) could be compelled to meet Mr. Devananda. The RRAN is controlled by the EPDP in Jaffna and functions from the offices of the party.


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