Tensions high in Delft over EPDP presence

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 November 2002, 20:02 GMT]
Tensions in Delft remained high today as the residents continued their protests demanding that the EPDP make a complete withdrawal from Delft. EPDP cadres have agreed to vacate early morning tomorrow, as the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is attempting to bring the situation under control sources said.

In a meeting in the evening in Delft, with the Police and the EPDP participating, an irate public demanded the complete withdrawal of the EPDP from Delft. Sources said that after the meeting, the EPDP has agreed that its 43 cadres in Delft will move out of Delft to Jaffna by tomorrow morning in the presence of the SLMM members. Members of the Human Rights Commission will also observe the situation in Delft.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the SLMM, Mr. S. Ilamparithi, the LTTE’s political leader in Jaffna has accused the Police and the Navy of violating the ceasefire agreement by their support to the EPDP in Delft.

The full text of the letter follows:

“The Sri Lankan Police and the Navy supported the EPDP in its attempt at establishing a base for itself on November 18. This is a violation of the Ceasefire Agreement, and we wish to bring this to your attention. The EPDP had to abandon its attempts in the face of concerted opposition by the people of Delft.

“At 3 am on 18 November, a group of 43 EPDP cadres in Sri Lankan police uniforms, with the assistance of the Navy reached the location of their earlier base in a two-wheeled tractor used by the Police. When the people opposed this in a democratic manner, the Police used more than 10 tear gas canisters, shot in the air and assaulted the people by their rifles. Three people were injured: Baby(40), Francis Xavier (65), Balan (45). The Police asked the women to leave the area, and threatened them that five policemen would rape one woman.

“One Mr. Jegan, said to be the leader of the EPDP group, moved around in SL Army uniforms. The cadres carried weapons.

“These actions are illegal and constitute a serious violation of the Ceasefire Agreement. At a time when the Police have to ensure the smooth working of agreements, their action in lending their uniforms and vehicles to the EPDP needs to be condemned. For the fourth day, the people are forgoing their daily needs and continuing their protests for a normal life in the future. Their demands should be respected and the SLMM should ensure the return of normal life to the people.”


Related Articles:
18.11.02   TNA meets PM over EPDP cadres in Delft
17.11.02   EPDP abandons attempt to regain Delft
16.11.02   EPDP return to Delft draws protest
08.10.02   EPDP cadres, ammunition handed over to SLMM
06.10.02   EPDP knifes shopkeeper, Delft tense

 

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