Sri Lanka army declines to lend a hand to EPDP
[TamilNet, Monday, 01 March 2004, 06:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka army refused to allow the paramilitary EPDP to take a group of refugees inside the Palaly military base to see their homes during the weekend. “We already had a problem in Chavakachcheri where the group claimed that it was responsible for persuading us to vacate a sector of our high security zone there. We want better relations with the public. But we don’t want politics. Our only duty is to defend our country”, a Sri Lanka army officer in Jaffna told TamilNet.
EPDP camp in Jaffna town decorated for elections
The EPDP promised some refugee families in Atchuvely in Jaffna Saturday that it would make arrangements with the military to visit their homes in the garrisoned villages and towns inside the sprawling Palaly Sri Lankan armed forces base.
Fifty persons from the refugee families who were keen to go were taken by the EPDP to its heavily fortified main camp in Jaffna town.
“We waited the whole day in the camp expecting the military to grant permission to the EPDP to take us into Palaly. We came back when it became apparent that the army had refused”, said one of the refugees.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka army on Sunday stopped members of the paramilitary group EPDP from distributing leaflets at Nelliyiadi in Jaffna after traffic on the Pt. Pedro Jaffna road was blocked by their activity. The EPDP members caused a traffic jam on the busy road through Nelliyadi town Sunday evening when they stopped all vehicles passing by their camp to distribute campaign leaflets.
Residents said soldiers in an SLA vehicle angered by the delay slapped an EPDP member and told the paramilitary activists not to block traffic. The soldiers ordered the EPDP members to go inside their camp.