Jaffna DDC meets under heavy security

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 March 2006, 10:53 GMT]
Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister in the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, and North East Governor Mohan Wijewickrema, retired Rear Admiral of the Sri Lanka Navy, Thursday morning arrived at the Jaffna District Secretariat in a troop carrier of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for the Jaffna District Development Committee (DDC) meeting held Thursday morning, sources in Jaffna said. The entire surrounding of the secretariat building was fortified with large numbers of troops and armored vehicles, sources added.

Mr. Douglas Devananda has been appointed Chairman of the DDC and Mr.Mohan Wijewickrema as one of the two Co- Chairmen. The other co-chairman Mr.Mavai Senathirajah, TNA Parliamentarian and other 08 fellow parliamentarians did not turn up at the meeting in protest to the appointment of Mr. Douglas Devananda as DDC chairman, sources said

The route from the office of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) to the Jaffna district secretariat was fortified with SLA troops on both the sides of the road, sources said

Heads of Government Departments were subjected to checking with metal detectors before being allowed in to attend the meeting. Journalists were also subjected to severe checking by armed police. Sniffer dogs were used to screen the photographic and other electronic equipments, sources said.

The first meeting of the DDC for the New Year commenced its session with the welcoming speech by Mr.K.Ganesh, Government Agent of Jaffna district.

Mr. Douglas Devananda in his opening speech said it was ludicrous for the TNA to claim the chairmanship of the Jaffna DDC when it boycotted the presidential poll last year. "President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed me as the Chairman though Mr.Mavai Senathirajah claimed that he is the most senior parliamentarian of the district. I came to know today morning through the media that the TNA parliamentarians are going to boycott the DDC inaugural meeting. However decisions to be taken at today's meeting would be implemented to reach the target," said Mr. Douglas Devananda, sources said.

"I did not object when Mr.Mavai Senathirajah was appointed one of the Co-Vice Chairmen to assist the peace process without any disruption,"said Mr.Douglas Devananda.

Mr. Douglas Devananda apologized for the inconvenience caused to the heads of departments and journalists due to severe checks carried out by the security forces.

Major General D.K.Chandrasiri, Jaffna area commander of the SLA and the Deputy Inspector General of Police also participated in the meeting, sources said.

 

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