Investigation into EPDP leader's stabbing

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 July 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Ministry of Justice has appointed Mr. P.Paskaralingam to investigate the attack on EPDP leader Mr. Douglus Devananda in the Kaluthura prison, said sources. Mr. Paskaalingam is expected to submit his report to the Minister of Justice, Prof. G.L.Pieris shortly, they added.

Prison officials said today that the attack on Mr. Devananda was carried out by a group of 12 - 15 detainees suspected of being members of the LTTE. Detainees who were on a hunger strike were not involved in the attack they said.

EPDP sources would not comment on the prison officials' claims, but said that Mr. Devanda's bodyguards had not been allowed to escort him inside the prison.

Mr. Devananda was stabbed while he visited the prison to give water to the detainees, who had given up their fast shortly before.

The detainees were protesting at their lengthy detention without trial, demanding that they be charged with a crime, or be released.

Meanwhile, EPDP sources said today that the Sri Lankan President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunge has suggested that Mr. Devananda be taken abroad to receive the treatment he needs.

However, doctors at Colombo's National Hospital said that he was not fit to travel. Mr. Devananda is said to be seriously ill following the attack, with head and other wounds.


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