Jaffna Mayor cremated in Colombo
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The body of Ms. Sarojini Yogeswaran, Mayor of Jaffna, was cremated today at the Borella Cemetery around 4:00 p.m., according to Hindu tradition, said sources in Colombo.
The remains of Ms. Yogeswaran had been kept at a private funeral parlour since last evening.
The Sri Lanka President, Chandrika Kumaratunga who paid her last respects to the slain mayor said in a message that she (the President), and the government, condemned the murder.
The Prime Minister, Srimavo Bandaranaike said that the killing had to be condemned as an inhuman act.
Senior cabinet ministers of the Sri Lanka Government- Jeayaraj Fernandopulle, Nimal Siripala De Silva and Alavi Moulana, also paid their last respects, as did the Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe.
Meanwhile the Association of the Batticaloa District Local Government bodies has written to the Sri Lanka President asking her to provide its members with police security in the wake of the killing of Jaffna Mayor, Sarojini Yogeswaran.
The letter, signed by the Batticaloa Mayor, Chelliyan Perinpanayakam (of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation) said that though they had been provided police security earlier, it had been withdrawn since the start of Operation Jaasikirui.
The excuse given for withdrawing security was a shortage of manpower in the Sri Lankan security forces. In the wake of this development, chairpersons and members of local government bodies were forced to resort to security provided by their political parties, said the letter.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan State news agency, Lankapuwath, published an interview with Mrs. arojini Yogeswaran, yesterday. Mrs. SV.Y was interviewd few days before she was assasinated, according to the agency.
Following are extracts from the interview:
The Sri Lankan President Mrs. Chandrika Kumarathunge, Post and Telecommunication Minister and the organiser for the White Lotous movement, Mangala Samaraweera are deeply distressd about the situation of the Jaffna people.
The shortage of funds is the major obstacle to providing help for the Jaffna people.
My decision to contest in the Jaffna Municipal Council Election was a temporary one. I planned to contest in a national election as my husband did. However, I contested in the local government elections after some other cadidates withdrew.
There is no drinking water, No electricity. There isn't enough food as before, and all food items have become very expensive.
No government has so far given the funds needed for Jaffna. War and development can not be carried on at the same time.
The Sri Lankan Army plays a big role in rebuilding the ruined lives of our people.
Had Mr. J.R.Jeyewardene devolved the powers properly and allocated sufficient funds to the north and east, today's situation would not have risen.
As far as the human rights situation is concerned, I do not believe there are random arrests going on in Jaffna. The President has set up a commision to look after this after discussions with our leader.