Breakaway EPDP faction avoids joint meeting

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Jaffna town commander Brigadier Susantha Mendis called all the Tamil groups for a discussion on security and related matters for the forthcoming local polls in the peninsula at his office this morning around 10 a.m.

He informed the groups that they are to be provided Police protection and that in the event of a shortage of Police personnel the army would be used.

Brigadier Mendis said that he had just received permission from the Ministry of Defence to provide military personnel for the protection of the groups during the elections.

Notably, the breakaway EPDP MPs for Jaffna, Rameswaran, Ramamoorthy brothers were not present at this meeting.

However, they had a separate private meeting with the town commander later in the day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tamil party sources said that the question of access to the islands off Jaffna (which are considered the domain of the EPDP) was discussed again at this meeting by the brothers.

The brothers claimed that the EPDP is using force to intimidate and prevent them from campaigning for the forthcoming Local Government elections.

The EPDP continues to prevent the other groups from launching their election campaigns in the island, saying that the people there are not happy with the EPRLF, TELO and the PLOTE.

The EPDP has been controlling the islands along with SLA since 1991 after the SLA captured the islands in 1990.


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