PM's meeting with TNA, EPDP, and PLOTE fail to reach consensus

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 November 2002, 16:33 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Friday evening held a one hour discussion with delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the leaders of the para military Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) to diffuse the tension now prevails in the Jaffna peninsula following picketing campaign against EPDP presence in Neduntheivu.


devananda_bodyguard.jpg
Former minister and the EPDP leader, Mr.Douglas Devananda (Library photo)
As leaders of EPDP and PLOTE Messrs Douglas Devananda and D.Siththarthan failed to convey their stand to a formula put forward by the TNA delegation the discussion that continued for about an hour at the parliamentary complex ended without reaching any consensus.

The TNA delegation brought to the notice of the Prime Minister that the people of Neduntheivu have come out against the presence of the EPDP cadres owing to the past bitter experience when the village was under the EPDP "rule" for more than ten years.

"In this background the people of Neduntheivu felt that the return of EPDP cadres recently to their area with arms and in uniforms similar to State armed forces they would be subjected to undemocratic and unlawful activities, " the TNA delegation told the Prime Minister.

ranil_wickremesinghe.jpgThe TNA then suggested a formula to the PM to diffuse the tension in Neduntheivu. According to the said formula, all EPDP members should first vacate Neduntheivu. There after they should return to Neduntheivu under a scheme formulated by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission without arms to engage themselves in political activities.

When the Prime Minister put the TNA formula to the EPDP leader Mr. Douglas Devananda and PLOTE leader Mr.Siththarthan for their response they did not answer. The discussion ended without taking any decision, TNA sources said.

sampanthan_r_1.jpgThe TNA delegation led by its parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan comprised parliamentarians Messrs: Mavai Senathirajah, G.G.Gajendrakumar, K.Thurairetnasingham, Raja Kuhaneswaran and G.Krishnapillai.

Meanwhile, President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge Friday afternoon summoned a special security conference to review the security situation in Jaffna district. The President made a request at the conference that all parties to the recent disturbances in the peninsula should workout a course of action for the de-escalation of violence and to restore normalcy. The guideline worked out should be supported by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, said a press released issued Friday evening.

At the commencement of the conference the Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Major General (retd.) Trond Furuhovde told the President that they would work only under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UNF government and the LTTE. President Chandrika told the conference that she would be writing to the Prime Minister before he leaves to Oslo Aid summit requesting him to obtain an assurance from the LTTE that they would work within the democratic framework

chandrika_kumarathunge_10-p.jpgPresident Chandrika Kumaratunge chaired the special security conference. Defense Minister Tilak Marapone, Interior Minister John Seneviratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lionel Balagalle, and the head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Major General Trond Furuhovde attended the conference.

President Chandrika said she would be summoning security conference regularly to review the situation in Jaffna peninsula.

Meanwhile several hundred people Friday continued their picketing in front of the EPDP headquarters in Jaffna town for the second day demanding the withdrawal from Neduntheivu village. More police soldiers of the SLA were deployed to provide security to the EPDP headquarters. In the meantime the Inspector General of Police Friday issued instruction to the Jaffna Police to strictly maintain law and order situation in the peninsula.

 

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