Kumaratunga appoints EPDP to tsunami Task Force

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 January 2005, 02:23 GMT]
Representatives of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) have been appointed to the District Task Force (DTF) established in Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Amparai districts to coordinate relief and rehabilitation of tsunami victims who are sheltered in welfare centers, on a directive from Sri Lanka’s President, Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga, civil sources said.

At the commencement of relief and rehabilitation soon after the tsunami hit the coastal areas, the DTF was formed with a limited number of representatives, including those from the LTTE. The rest were representatives of the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Police, Government Agent, representatives of International agencies and national non-governmental organizations. Parliamentarians of each district have been appointed as ex-officio members of the DTF. No political party was given representation in the DTF or its sub-committees, sources said

Mr.Mathanarajah, former Jaffna district EPDP parliamentarian has been appointed to the Jaffna DTF and Dr.K.Wickneswaran who unsuccessfully contested the 2004 general election to the Trincomalee DTF.

Mr.Mathanarajah participated in the conference presided over by Mr.Tyronne Fernando, North - East Provincial Governor, in Jaffna Monday, while the elected representatives from the Tamil National Alliance boycotted the conference. Two more EPDP members, one for each of the districts of Batticaloa and Amparai, have also been appointed, sources said.

Dr.Wickneswaran Monday attended the Trincomalee DTF meeting with the Government Agent, Mr.Gamini Rodrigo, in the chair, sources said.

Mr.R.Sampanthan, Trincomalee district parliamentarian and TNA parliamentary group leader, and Mr.Elilan, the LTTE’s Trincomalee district political head, strongly opposed a request by Dr.Wickneswaran when the latter wanted a representative of the EPDP to be appointed to sub-committees of DTF, sources said.

They argued that the EPDP has no right to be in the tsunami DTF, saying that the EPDP has no parliamentary representation in the Trincomalee district. Mr. Elilan stressed that the LTTE is in the DTF because it has now been engaged in political activities according to the ceasefire agreement entered into between the LTTE and Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).

The controversy came to an end when Dr.Wickneswaran dropped his demand, district secretariat sources said

 

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