EPDP abandons attempt to regain Delft

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 November 2002, 13:54 GMT]
The para military Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) is said to have abandoned its attempt Sunday to regain its position in Delft Island in the Jaffna peninsula following vehement protest by villagers.

About forty cadres of EPDP who returned to Delft Saturday early morning escorted by Sri Lanka Navy and Police in three SLN crafts Sunday withdrew to Mavilathurai jetty in the Delft Island on their way to Jaffna town, residents said.

Immediately after landing at Mavilathurai jetty Saturday the EPDP cadres commandeered a tractor belonged to the local authority of the area and rushed to the spot where they had a camp two months ago. When they commenced work on establishing new camp more than one thousand villagers surrounded the area and demanded their immediate withdrawal from Delft.

However, the Police at the scene said that they had come to ensure protection to the EPDP on a special directive by the President of the country. The Police further told the villagers that they would be taking action against those who indulge in violence. Villagers told the Police they could not allow the EPDP cadres anymore in Delft as they had suffered immensely by their activities when they were under EPDP control.

The villagers gave deadline till 6 p.m. Saturday for the EPDP cadres to leave the area. If they failed to keep up the deadline they would be driven out, villagers told the members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Jaffna when the latter visited the scene.

EPDP cadres Sunday abandoned the attempt to set up a camp in Delft and move out of the area. Residents said the EPDP cadres have now returned to Mavilathurai jetty waiting to go to Jaffna town. The SLN and police personnel have been also waiting at the jetty, sources said.


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