EPDP leader's condition said improving
[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Sunil Rajapakse, the Kalutara Magistrate remanded 16 suspects over the stabbing of Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda on Tuesday at the Kalutara prison, said prison sources on Saturday.
Those remanded are to produced in court on July 16. A report on the incident issued after an inquiry by K. W. Karaliyadde, Commissioner General of Prisons, is to be handed over to Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Justice, Constitutional Affairs etc.
Meanwhile, the State controlled Daily News, quoting sources at the National Hospital, said today that Mr. Devananda was reported to be breathing without a ventilator from Thursday night, and that his pulse and blood pressure were almost normal; however, his overall condition remained critical.
Mr. Devananda had visited Kalutara prison last Tuesday to meet with detainees who had completed a hunger strike over their lengthy detentions without trial, demanding that they be charged with a crime, or be released.
Mr. Devananda is said to have been surrounded and attacked by 15 detainees, and is said to have suffered serious injuries as a result.
According to the prison officials, the attackers were all suspected members of the LTTE. EPDP sources refused to comment on the prison officials claims, but said that Mr. Devananda's bodyguards had not been allowed to accompany him into Kalutara by the prison authorities.