Jaffna court seeks EPDP's weapons list

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 June 2002, 12:26 GMT]
The Jaffna magistrate Mr. R. T Vignarajah Friday directed the Sri Lanka Police to serve notice on the Eelam People's Democratic Party's (EPDP) deputy organiser for Jaffna, Mr. K. Manipallavarajan, to appear in court on Monday, 10 May with the list of weapons the paramilitary group had in its possession when the journalist, Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, was murdered. Mr. Nimalarajan, Jaffna correspondent for the BBC, the Tamil daily, Virakesari and the TamilNet was killed at his home on 19 October 2000 by gunmen suspected to be members of the EPDP, a key ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The court also directed Police to instruct Mr.Manipallavarajan to submit lists of arms that were in the paramilitary group's possession after it handed over part of its weapons to the Sri Lanka army under the terms of the cease-fire agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers and those that it had before the handover.

The magistrate directed Police to find the whereabouts of the EPDP cadre, Ketheeswaran Jegan, through the Divisional Secretary of the Delft Island (Neduntheevu), arrest him and to produce him in court at the next hearing on Monday when he (the magistrate) was informed that the suspect was absconding.

The EPDP controls the Delft Island with the support of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Human rights activists in Jaffna accuse the Police of foot dragging in the investigations because the paramilitary group is close to the President and the Sri Lankan security forces authorities in Jaffna. When the case came for hearing Friday, two EPDP cadres, T. Viswan and K. Viji, from the paramilitary group's northern headquarters in Stanley Road in Jaffna town, appeared in the court as directed by the magistrate on 14 May.

Police informed court when the case was taken up for hearing on 14 May that the main suspect in the journalist's murder identified only by the alias 'Napoleon' who is a senior leader of the EPDP, had slipped out the country. 'Napoleon' was also implicated in the murder of a Tamil National Alliance supporter in the island of Kayts and of attacking and grievously wounding senior TNA leaders, Mr. Mavai Senathirajah and Mr. M. K Sivajilingam. At the last hearing, Police told court that the assistance of the Interpol would be sought to arrest 'Napoleon'. TNA politicians, however, dismiss the Police claim. They allege that sections of the Sri Lankan armed forces helped Napoleon leave the island clandestinely.


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