EPDP leader's condition 'serious'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The condition of Mr. Douglas Devananda, leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) and Parliamentarian for the Jaffna district, who was attacked by detainees at the Kalutara prison yesterday is said to be serious, said hospital sources.

douglass_devananda-p.gifThe sources said Mr. Devananda had sustained head injuries and that he was still unconscious in the intensive care unit of the National Hospital in Colombo, where he underwent emergency neural surgery last night.

Meanwhile, the police are conducting an investigation into the incident, but no arrests have yet been made, said sources.

Mr. Devananda was attacked during his visit to the prison to see Tamil political detainees who are on a fast unto death since June 24. The fasting detainees are protesting their detention without trial and demanding their release or the implementation of legal proceedings against them.

Mr. Devananda was rushed to the Nagoda hospital and later transferred to the National Hospital in Colombo, said sources.

The sources said that Mr. Devananda's body guards had not been allowed to accompany him inside the prison.

The EPDP is an ex-militant group, which contested the Parliamentary elections held in 1994. The group has 9 members in the parliament.

The group also contested the local government election in Jaffna held in January this year.

However, the EPDP, along with other ex-militant groups, also maintains a military wing which functions as a para military force alongside the Sri Lankan Army in operations against the Liberation Tigers.

The EPDP and other Tamil groups, Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF) - formerly People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Eelam Peoples' Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) jointly staged a token fast in Jaffna in support of the fasting detainees in Kalutara prison on June 26.

In a joint appeal issued by the groups, they urged the public to support their efforts to highlight the detention of prisoners without trial by the Sri Lanka Army, victimisation of innocent people by the security forces, the suffering of the relatives of those who had disappeared and other problems faced by the civilians.


Related Articles:
30.06.98   EPDP leader critically injured
26.06.98   Protest Fast in Jaffna
25.06.98   Fast unto death continues
22.06.98   Political detainees to begin protest fast

 

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