TNA wants EPDP disarmed
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 November 2002, 07:49 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Wednesday appealed to the United National Front government to take immediate steps to ensure that no one engaged in political activity in Neduntheivu and Kayts in Jaffna district is armed. "The UNF government should take appropriate action to diffuse the situation and to assure the people of Neduntheivu and Kayts that they will not be subjected in the future to the violent and undemocratic actions of the Eelam Peoples Democratic party (EPDP)," said in a press release issued by the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance Wednesday.
The full text of the press release is given below: -
"The parliamentary group of the TNA desires to keep the country informed of the background and circumstances relating to the confrontation now taking place at Neduntheivu in Kayts, between the public and some members of the EPDP who claim to have entered Neduntheivu in order to recommence their political activity.
"Neduntheivu is an isolated island within the original Kayts electorate in the Jaffna district.
"For more than the past ten years the Kayts electorate inclusive of the Neduntheivu Island was under the armed control of the E.P.D.P. The people of Kayts electorate inclusive of Neduntheivu were suppressed and not free to exercise their civil and democratic rights. The people of Kayts Electorate including Neduntheivu strongly feel that members of the E.P.D.P are responsible for several unresolved crimes, including murder. Not even a police station could be established in Neduntheivu in view of the opposition of the E.P.D.P. It is well known that the Naval personnel present in Kayts were blindly supportive of the E.P.D.P. and all its activities.
The E.P.D.P did not permit any other political party to engage in any political activity in any part of the Kayts Electorate. In November 2001- the candidates and supporters of the Alliance of Tamil parties who went to Kayts, to conduct their election campaign, were obstructed and severely beaten up. Two supporters were killed and several others were grievously wounded, amongst whom were Mr.M.K.Sivajilingam and Mr.Mavai.S.Senathirajah who were elected Members of Parliament, and who have not yet fully recovered from their injuries.
"During the 2001 elections, the Alliance of Tamil parties appealed to the Commissioner of Elections to have a police post opened at Neduntheivu, but it was not possible to do so.
"The E.P.D.P in this situation was able to carry on mass impersonation and stuff the ballot boxes. The officials posted to the polling Booths within the Kayts Electorate either connived with the E.P.D.P or were mute spectators.
"It was the resentment against such violent and anti-democratic actions of the E.P.D.P that was the cause of the agitation carried on by the civilian population at Neduntheivu against the E.P.D.P. The absence of any agitation by the civilian population on behalf of the E.P.D.P despite the presence of the E.P.D.P members at Neduntheivu is clearly indicative of the genuine feelings of the people.
"It is essential that this background to the present situation is clearly understood.
"There are allegations that the E.P.D.P members who entered Neduntheivu did so in service fatigues and that some of them were armed. Some members of the E.P.D.P were transported in Naval Craft.
"It is imperative that the Police and naval personnel at Neduntheivu should act impartially. The genuine resentment of the people of Neduntheivu cannot be suppressed by force either by E.P.D.P or security personnel
"We request the Government to defuse the situation; by taking appropriate action to ensure that no one engaged in political activity is armed and also assure the people of Neduntheivu and Kayts, that they will not be subjected in the future to the violent and undemocratic actions of the E.P.D.P.
28.11.01 Four TNA candidates wounded in EPDP attack