GoSL denies air transport to Batticaloa MPs

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 02:02 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) refused to provide helicopter transport to the four Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian of Batticaloa district, from Colombo to Batticaloa, to attend the District Development Council (DDC) meeting held at Batticaloa Kachcheri Tuesday, TNA sources said. The MPs requested transport help following death threats from Karuna Group. The meeting was organized to explore solutions to the IDP problems and to endorse the other development activities planned for the current year.

Ameer Ali, the Minister of Disaster Management, and one of the Parliamentarians elected from Batticaloa district, also the Chairman of DDC, convened the meeting.

The other four Parliamentarians elected from the District, T. Kanagasabai, Miss K. Thangeswary, S. Jeyananthamoorthy and P. Ariyaneththiran have been staying in Colombo for some months, after the paramilitary Karuna Group, working along the government armed forces, issued death threats to them.

However, the four MPs wanted to attend the meeting and wrote to Sri Lanka's President and the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense requesting to provide them helicopter transport.

As there were no responses, the MPs were unable to attend the key meeting where the problems faced by their constituents were discussed. The meeting that was scheduled for 11 April in Colombo, concerning the security of the Tamil Parliamentarians, was called off by Minister Ameer Ali at the last minute without stating any reasons.

Meanwhile, the request for air transport to Batticaloa by same Tamil Parliamentarian who wanted to meet the IDPs displaced from the Paduwankarai region was declined. They requested the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe for transport help.

TNA sources said that GoSL is keen to limit access to the Batticaloa TNA MPs to their constituents, to create political space for the renegade paramilitaries.

 

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