President orders full probe into alleged abductions

[February 2, 2006 - 15.00 GMT]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered a full scale probe by the police into the allegation that five members of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) had been abducted at Welikanda on the evening of
January 30.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mangala Samaraweera addressing the media today (02) on the issue of the alleged abductions said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had deployed two Deputy Inspectors General of Police, four Senior Superintendents of Police, 20 intelligence personnel and other police ranks to carry out the most thorough investigation into these alleged abductions.

He requested TRO to demonstrate the same vigour and enthusiasm in assisting the police to carry out this investigation that it was showing in bringing this matter to the notice of the international community.

Minister Samaraweera said that investigations carried out so far were leading to considerable mystery about these abductions. He said the behaviour of TRO with regard to the alleged abductions of its own members was surprising in that no complaint of the abductions had been made to any police station until 30 hours after the incident is said to have taken place.

He said the IGP was informed of this incident only in a casual conversation by a senior official of TRO at a seminar attended by the IGP and him in Colombo, the day after the alleged incident. Even then it was not a formal complaint. However, acting on this information the IGP had immediately contacted the Batticaloa Police and found out that even up to that time, over 24 hours after the alleged abduction; no complaint had been made by TRO or any other party.

He said that in the event of the persons released being afraid, for whatever reason to report this matter to the Welikanda Police, one failed to understand why a member of TRO in Colombo could not report it to Police
Headquarters, which would have acted on such a complaint.

One of the women released by the alleged abductors had reported to the Batticaloa Police together with a representative of the SLMM more than 24 hours after the event. The Police were now interrogating the driver of the vehicle in which the persons who were allegedly abducted were traveling.

Foreign Minister Samaraweera said the behaviour of TRO in this regard gave rise to genuine suspicions as to whether the entire incident had been stage managed by TRO to win international sympathy for it, at a time when several countries were carrying out investigations into and expressing concern about its fund raising activities for the LTTE.

He said it could also be the work of persons or groups interested in sabotaging the peace talks that had been scheduled for later this month after three years, since the LTTE unilaterally abandoned the talks.

Minister Samaraweera said the Government would not leave room for anyone to sabotage the upcoming talks with the LTTE, and also appealed to the LTTE not to be misled or discouraged by those who may be attempting to prevent these talks being held.











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Last Updated Date: February 2, 2006 - 15.00 GMT


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