Mayor's body sent to Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The body of Sarojini Yogeswaran, covered with TULF flag was kept at the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) office this morning for local people to pay their respect. About one thousand people paid their respects this morning, said sources in Jaffna. Among the mourners who filed past the Mayor's bier today, were many Sri Lanka Government (SLG) officials and members of the local bodies, the sources said.

TULF vise president Mr. V. Anadasangari, Jaffna Municipal Commissioner V. P. Balasingham, Mr. Robert (EPRLF), Mr. S. Kirubairajah (PLOTE) spoke at the JMC office.

The Sri Lankan Army received the body from the JMC officials at 11.30 a.m. today and took it to Colombo, for the funeral tomorrow, said officials from the JMC.

The Sri Lankan government brought journalists from Colombo in a special flight to cover the proceedings.

Mrs. Yogeswaran's body will be kept at the TULF office in Colombo till 2.30 p.m. and will then be handed over to her relatives, said sources.

Meanwhile leaders of ex-Tamil militant groups have issued statements of condemnation in Colombo and Jaffna of the killing of Jaffna Mayor, Mrs. Sarojini Yogeswaran.

However, there is yet to be an official statement from the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) of which Ms.Yogeswaran was a member.

"One aspect of war, the use of children, has been condemned by the international fora. This aspect (assassination of Ms. Yogeswaran) should also be focused at the international level," said Suresh Premachandran, Leader of the Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), to the State run Daily News, yesterday.

"The LTTE does not want to see normalcy and a peaceful life in the North. They do not want to see democratic Tamil representatives talking and working together with Tamils in the North. The only thing they would like to see is anarchy in the peninsula. She (Ms. Yogeswaran) was an unarmed leader, who voiced her opinion and worked hard for the well-being of the community. They should have respected at least her age," said Mr. Premachandran.

Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation's (TELO) Propaganda Secretary Abu Yusoof said, "It was an attack on the democratic fabric of this country, which needs attention both locally and internationally."

"All those who love peace and democracy should condemn these brutal killings, " said D. Siddharthan, Leader of the Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) adding that the assassination revealed the real attitude of the LTTE.

"Ideas should be met with ideas and not with guns. People of the area are shocked at this incident," Douglas Devananda, Leader of the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP), told the Daily News.

The EPDP, PLOTE and TELO, all ex-militant organisations, maintain armed wings of their parties in the Jaffna peninsula, and elsewhere on the island. The armed cadres of these parties work with the Sri Lankan military in anti-LTTE operations. The TULF, however, does not possess an armed wing.

In the run up to the bitterly fought Jaffna elections last January, frequent clashes were reported amongst cadres and supporters of the armed groups.


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