SLA asked for EPDP weapons over journalist's murder

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 November 2002, 19:13 GMT]
The Jaffna Magistrate Monday directed the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to hand over to court all firearms received from the paramilitary group EPDP under the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo to identify the weapon allegedly used for murdering journalist Mr. Mylvaganam Nimalarajan on 19th October 2000.

Sri Lankan Police investigators suspect that the EPDP, a key ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance, murdered the journalist.

Mr. Nimalrajan was very critical of widespread vote rigging by the EPDP during the general elections of 2000 in Jaffna.

The EPDP handed over part of its armoury to the SLA under the provisions of the ceasefire agreement earlier this year. The EPDP is a heavily armed well financed paramilitary group working with the Sri Lankan security forces.

The Jaffna Magistrate Mr. R. T.Viknarajah directed the SLA commander to hand over the weapons turned in by the EPDP to the Government Analyst to identify the weapon recovered from the paramilitary group’s office in Jaffna allegedly used for the murder.

Mr. Viknarajah made this order when the Nimalarajan murder case was taken up for further inquiry Monday.

The special investigation team of the CID searched the Jaffna EPDP office on 9 August this year on the order of the Jaffna Magistrate and seized a 9 mm pistol, allegedly used for killing the journalist.

However the letter of authority produced by the EPDP officials in court on an earlier date permitting them to keep the weapon was for a 7.62 mm calibre weapon and for not the 9 mm pistol.

When this was brought to the notice of the court Monday the Magistrate issued an order on the SLA Commander to hand over all the weapons surrendered by the EPDP under the Ceasefire Agreement.

The order further stated that the SLA should hand over all EPDP firearms to the Government Analyst in the presence of the Fort Magistrate.

The head of the CID special team, which is conducting inquiry into this case Ranjit de Silva, was present in court.

Meanwhile the Jaffna Magistrate Monday directed the Controller of Immigration and Emigration not to issue passport to the two suspects in the Nimalarajan murder case without prior permission of the High Court (HC) and Magistrate court (MC) to leave the island until the case is completed.

The Jaffna Magistrate made this order when the Attorney-at-Law Mr.M. Remedius appearing for the deceased journalist brought to the notice of the court that the two suspects Visvan alias Visu and Murali alias Michael Collin who had been enlarged on bail by the Vavuniya High Court could leave the island secretly.

The main suspect in the journalist’s murder, an EPDP leader known as Napoleon who worked closely with the Sri Lanka Navy in Jaffna, is believed to have left Sri Lanka surreptitiously with the assistance of some powerful sections of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

When questioned by the Magistrate, the two suspects who were present in court replied that they did not have passports.

However the Magistrate issued an order on the Controller of Immigration and Emigration prohibiting him from issuing passports to the suspects without the permission of the High Court and the Magistrate’s Court.

The Jaffna Magistrate further ordered the suspects to appear in person in the Jaffna Police station twice a month, first and third Friday to mark their presence.


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