Protests continue while EPDP reduces Nedunthivu strength

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 December 2002, 16:39 GMT]
The para military Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) Monday decided to halve its strength in Nedunthivu Island in Jaffna district at the general council meeting of the EPDP held Monday following a month long agitation by the people of Nedunthivu demanding the immediate withdrawal of para military group members.

"We have decided to reduce our strength to half in Nedunthivu Island to extend our full co-operation to the peace process now being taken forward," said EPDP general secretary and the Jaffna district parliamentarian Mr. Douglas Devananda in a press release Monday.

A month ago the Sri Lanka Navy brought about forty members of the EPDP in its crafts to the Nedunthivu Island. The Police gave protection to the EPDP cadres when they landed in the island. SLN and police continue to provide protection to the EPDP cadres. EPDP cadres gradually began leaving the island due to the protest by the villagers against their presence leaving only about twenty EPDP members staying in Nedunthivu village now, residents said.

A delegation of EPDP met the Jaffna Bishop Rt Rev.Thomas Soundaranayagam Sunday and discused the possibility of reducing the number of its members to half in Nedunthivu island. The delegation suggested that the EPDP would withdraw all its members except ten including the Chairman of the Nedunthivu Pradeshiya Sabah to run the administration of the said local body. Later Bishop RT Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam paid a visit to Nedunthivu Sunday and held about two hour talk with the people of the village regarding their protest campaign against the presence of EPDP members. The Bishop told the residents to pray for an amicable solution to the problem.

However, Nedunthivu residents' protest campaign against the presence of the EPDP members entered thirty-first day Monday. Residents still demand the complete withdrawal of EPDP members from their village, sources said.


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