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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2619

EPDP condemns “the irresponsible” statement of the Amnesty International.

Colombo, 20 May, ( Douglas Devananda, General Secretary of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), has condemned the latest statement of Amnesty International (AI) linking its cadres to the recent attacks on Tamil civilians in Kayts as an “irresponsible” utterance.

Urging the AI not to issue such statements without going through a proper investigation into incidents Devananda states that “irresponsible” statements by AI would encourage the LTTE to wipe out alternative voice of the voiceless people and unarmed people who dare to dissent.

Here is the full text of the statement issued by Douglas Devananada: “We strongly condemn the irresponsible statement of Amnesty International dated 16th May 2006 under the Heading “Sri Lanka, Amnesty International condemns killing of civilian”.

“The paragraph referring to EPDP in the said statement was written with ulterior motive not only to tarnish the image of the E.P.D.P but also to endanger the lives of the members of the E.P.D.P.

Amnesty International’s carefully worded sentences were written with the intention of blaming my party for this dastardly massacre of unarmed civilians including children.

The statement, inter alia, states as follows “the L.T.T.E has accused the Sri Lanka Navy of responsibility for the attacks on Kayts Island, a charge which the Navy has denied. However, Amnesty International has received credible reports that Sri Lanka navy personnel and armed cadres affiliated with the Eelam People’s Democratic Party, A Tamil Political Party that is opposed to the L.T.T.E, were present at the scene of the killings”.

The above mentioned statement was given wide publicity in the front pages of all Tamil Media including the web pages all over the world in order to alienate us from the Tamil Community and crush us politically.

Our party has been all these years supporting and encouraging the activities of the Amnesty International in order to improve the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

Amnesty International is fully aware, of the assistance rendered by our party in restoring law and order in Jaffna and other places in the North East. It was, we who facilitated the functioning of courts without letting the LTTE interrupt the judicial process with their threats. We also played a major role in reducing human rights violations in this country and made many changes in people’s lives before the Ceasefire Arrangement was signed in 2002.

If E.P.D.P is capable of resorted to LTTE terror tactics then, we could have defended ourselves from the onslaught of L.T.T.E. and saved the lives of many of our cadres.

After we joined the political mainstream, we have not only been respecting the laws of the country but also attempting to improve the Human Rights situation.

Amnesty International’s accusation against my party had completely damaged the image of my party and had defamed me as the leader of E.P.D.P immensely.

Amnesty International has also discovered that there are “ armed cadres affiliated with the EPDP and that they were present at the scene of the killings” This is another allegation leveled against us in order to eliminate us and pave way for establishing dictatorship of the LTTE in the North and East.

We see a sinister motive in hurrying to present such a carefully worded statement against us without even verifying from our party – a process which is expected from a recognized human rights organization such as Amnesty International.

We urge the Amnesty International to desist from issuing statement without going through a proper investigation of incidents in the north east. It should be noted that Amnesty International admits in its statement that “without effective investigations and prosecutions, the cycle of retaliatory violence that so endangers the lives of civilians is likely to escalate.” In a confusing situation as in Sri Lanka it is very risky for Amnesty International to jump into conclusion only on one-sided reports

We also wish to remind that in a country like Sri Lanka, this type of one-sided statements can lead to serious repercussion.

Members of the EPDP had been the victims during the past few years and we appeal to all including the Amnesty International not to encourage the killing spree of the LTTE with your words and pronouncements without a comprehensive investigation. These actions encourage the LTTE to wipe out the alternate voices of the voiceless people and also the unarmed civilian who dare to dissent.

I am expecting an apology from the Amnesty International for damaging the image of our party and for endangering our lives and also request you to correct your statement and place your facts after proper investigations.

K.N.Douglas Devananda, M.P,
Leader of Eelam People’s Democratic Party.

- Asian Tribune -

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