President orders full probe into alleged abductions
[February 2, 2006 - 15.00 GMT]
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
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
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
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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Date: February 2, 2006 - 15.00 GMT