EPRLF procession draws interest

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The EPRLF went on a propaganda procession this morning around 9 a.m. with about three hundred people on bicycles in the Jaffna municipality limits. The procession was led by the EPRLF's mayoral candidate Robert who was accompanied by the group's leader Suresh Premachandran.

Civilians in Jaffna town who were intrigued by the procession gathered at junctions to watch the bicycle caravan,which duly stopped to blare out party propaganda through loudspeakers.

The EPRLF issued a pamphlet justifiying their stand vis-a-vis India in 1987-1990.

The pamplet says that the group was pushed into a situation where they were compelled to raise the Tamil National Army (TNA) but they have now accepted again and again that the manner in which they conscripted youth for the 'Army' was wrong.

The EPRLF pamphlet says "The support of the Indian government which is alienated should be secured again by us" and that "We had to work on friendly terms with the Indian army and the Indian army to get the rights the Tamils were granted under the Indo-Lanka Accord.

But after the Indian army left (Sri Lanka) we have stopped all our military activities and have sacked those from our organisation who wanted to engage in military activities. A small group, like this, has joined the army in Batticaloa. The EPRLF has nothing to do with it. We are functioning as a fully democratic party".

A large cross sections of the onlookers whom the TamilNet correspondent spoke to while the EPRLF procession wound its way through the Jaffna town were, however, were not prepared to take the EPRLF too seriously.

The EPRLF is an ex-militant group which was active with Indian military during the IPKF period. EPRLF was installed as a 'civil administration in the north and eastern provinces' as the provincial council.

The groups armed cadres operated with the IPKF in operation against the Liberation Tigers. When the Indian Army began withdrawing the island, the EPRLF hastly raised the Tamil National Army by conscription.

TNA collapsed when the LTTE moved in to its areas and some of the EPRLF carders fled to Colombo and offered their services to the Sri Lankan Army.

 

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