MP gives up boycott after meeting SLA commanders

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 November 2002, 14:22 GMT]
Mr. Gnanamuthu Krishnapillai, Member of Parliament (MP) of Batticaloa district agreed to give up his boycotting of parliament after meeting commanders of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Thursday morning. The MP met with Brigadier S.R. Balasuriya, commander of 23rd division in Minneriya and Colonel R. de Silva, commander of 23-3 Brigade in Batticalo at the MP's residence in Kaluwanchikudi on instructions from Joint Chief of Staff, Lionel Balagalle.

 Mr. Gnanamuthu Krishnapillai (right) and  Brigadier S.R. Balasuriya.
Mr. Gnanamuthu Krishnapillai shakes hand with Brigadier S.R. Balasuriya.
Mr. Krishnapillai was boycotting the parliament as a protest against the SLA holding him for more than 20 minutes before allowing him to enter the District Secretariat on the 29 October for a district development meeting.

The MP had complained to the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, Defence Minister Tilak Marapane and to Chief of Staff Lionel Balagalle in writing regarding the matter.

Brigadier Balasuria told the MP, "District secretariat is located at the entrance to our 23-3 divisions main office and is in the high security zone. It is unfortunate that no prior instructions were given to our soldiers about your visit to the secretariat by the Government agent.

"We are conducting a detailed investigation and we assure you thatdisciplinary action will be taken against those who are guilty of misconduct.

"In the current atmosphere of peace the military is working closely with the Liberation Tigers and the people of this area. Since your boycott will impact the atmosphere of goodwill, we kindly request you to give up your boycott."

MP had replied, "I am an elected representative of the people of this area. Under no circumstances will I accept being stopped and harrassed by thesoldiers of the SLA. I need to know why I was held back when another Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP was allowed in, and if this was deliberate."

The Commanders expressed their appreciation to the MP when he told them after lengthy discussions that he will suspend his protest.


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