EPDP may withdraw support

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Douglas Devananda, Leader of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) told family members of missing persons in Jaffna, that his party will refrain from supporting the Sri Lanka Government (SLG) in Parliament, if the problems of these families are not resolved in six weeks, said sources in Jaffna.

Members of the Guardian Association for the Families of the Disappeared (GAFD) who met Mr. Devananda at his Jaffna office said that despite the EPDP's pledges to them, when it came to voting in Parliament, the party had supported the SLG.

Mr. Devananda said that Sri Lanka President, Chandrika Kumaratunga had paid heed to representations made by him in the past.

On this instance, he said, she had promised to look into the problems of the GAFD within one and a half months.

If the problems were not addressed by then, the EPDP would refrain from voting with the SLG in Parliament, said Mr. Devananda.

The GAFD was formed in Jaffna by the relatives of Jaffna residents who had 'disappeared' following their arrest by the Sri Lankan security forces, in an effort to campaign to locate the missing people.

Hundreds of Tamils have gone missing since the SLA moved into the Jaffna peninsula in early 1996.

Last year Amnesty International said that over 600 Tamils who 'disappeared' whilst in SLA custody had either died under torture or had been deliberately killed.

 

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