2ND LEAD (CORRECTION)
Abduction fear pervasive, say TNA MPs
[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 November 2007, 10:52 GMT]
In a press conference held Friday in the premises of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, R. Sampanthan, leader of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expressed fear that a number of members of parliament (MPs) might be abducted prior to the voting on the Third Reading of the Budget to be held 14 December, parliamentary sources said.
Mr.Sampanthan speaking to the media accused that there is close link between the paramilitary groups operating in Batticaloa and the Sri Lanka armed forces in the region.
“The paramilitary group which abducted Sasitharan, son-in-law of TNA parliamentarian Kangasabai, handed him over at Batticaloa Police station. Saitharan was later handed over to his relatives at his residence by the police.
“How could this group hand over Sasitharan at Batticaloa police station?” Sampanthan questioned.
“It is clear that there is close connection between Batticaloa police and the paramilitary group involved in the abduction. When we lodged a complaint regarding Sasitharan’s abduction with Batticaloa police, they denied any knowledge the incident. However, after the voting on the budget was over, the very same night police handed over Sasitharan to his relatives, he added.
Accusing that Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is involved in the abduction, Sampanthan said that this government will never take any constructive action to ensure the safety and security of the parliamentarians.
Suresh Premachandran MP for Jaffna, addressing the media said” International countries often speak of democracy but they remain silent when our members of parliament are abducted or threatened. These nations must take action to stop the threats being issued to TNA parliamentarians. Otherwise, they should remain silent instead of advising us about democracy .If the International Community (IC) does not act immediately, Tamils will have to conclude that the IC has lost the right to comment about our problems."
Mr.Premachandran pointed out that a similar situation might arise for MPs of other political parties in Sri Lanka in the near future.
Twelve TNA MPs including Maavai Senathirajah, Deputy Leader of TNA parliamentary group, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Party’s chief Whip, Suresh Premachandran TNA co-ordinator, M.Srikantha Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian attended the press conference.