Independent probe into Velanai assault - SLMM
[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 June 2002, 01:18 GMT]
The head of the international ceasefire monitors in Sri Lanka, Major General Trond Furuhovde, has called on the government to appoint an independent commission into the assault of two members of the LTTE's political section in Velanai village on the Jaffna island of Kayts. “In addition to this, the Army, Navy, Police and LTTE will each do a separate thorough investigation on the alleged assault,” the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said in a statement Saturday. The SLMM also said it would establish a permanent presence in the islands.
General Furuhovde “will ask the Government of Sri Lanka to establish an Independent Special Commission to inquire into an alleged assault on two LTTE members … on the
evening of Thursday 20th,” said the SLMM, which monitors the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers.
Mr. Semmanan, the leader of the LTTE’s political section in the islands and Mr. Thayalan, a political activist were viciously beaten by a group comprising uniformed military personnel and masked men in civil.
“The Special Commission is to be established as soon as possible and, if accepted by the Government, will report directly to the Prime Minister,” the SLMM said, adding that hHigh ranking representatives of the Sri Lanka Navy and Army, Chief of Police in Jaffna peninsula and representatives of the LTTE agreed to the proposal on Saturday.
The SLMM will establish a "Point of Contact" on the island of Kayts, with an SLMM monitor present on a regular basis.
“The Sri Lanka Army Commander on Kayts island has accepted to provide the LTTE political workers on Kayts with sufficient possibilities of communication,” the SLMM further said.
LTTE political workers on Kayts complained late Thursday evening of having been threatened and assaulted, by eight men: Two in army uniforms, one in navy uniform and five masked civilians, suspected to be members of the paramilitary Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).
At the meeting in SLMM's Jaffna office Saturday, all parties gave their account of what had happened. “Those accounts are quite contradictory and therefore the parties agreed on … an Independent Special Commisson to inquire into the matter, in addition to their own separate investigations,” the SLMM said.
SLMM has six district offices and local monitoring committees in the Eastern and Northern part of Sri Lanka, two naval monitoring teams based in Jaffna and Trincomalee and Liaison officers to both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government.