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"Our Member Abducted & Poisoned By Armed Group"

“Recent Suicide Attack in the East Targets Us” - EROS

(February 29, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka Guardian) “On Thursday 21/02/2008 EROS member Rasamanickam Thiyagarasa (26), the brother of EROS candidate Rasamanickam Yogarasa contesting in the local government elections for the Valaichenai Pradeshiya Sabha on the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) ticket was abducted by an armed group, beaten up and was subsequently poisoned and left for dead in a deserted area,” according to press statement resealed by the Party official.

“He was later recovered by EROS members who were sent out to look for him after it was learned that he had been abducted. He had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and the Batticaloa Government hospital and was said to be in a serious but stable condition. The doctors had been unable to verify what poison had been used by the armed kidnappers. Unfortunately he passed away on 25th February 2008 at the Batticaloa General Hospital. His death was a result of being poisoned by members of the armed group that had abducted and beaten him,” the statement reported.

The matter is now being investigated by the local (DIG) of Police. A request has been made by EROS to the local police (DIG) for extra security personnel for senior EROS members.

Meanwhile, “The recent bomb blast killing two TMVP candidates by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was actually targeted at the EROS chief candidate Rajanathan Prabaharan who is known to travel on the same route using a similar vehicle,” the Party believed.

This attack of an EROS member was inhumane and EROS has urged the Government of Sri Lanka specifically the President to order the disarmament of armed groups in the East before the elections and to help avoid future abductions or even possible killings of candidates contesting in the elections or their relatives.

Meanwhile many civilians are being rounded up by the STF and local police as a result of search operations. These are being conducted because of the continued attacks by the LTTE and the fact that the LTTE cadres are disguising themselves as ordinary civilians. Members of EROS have visited local police stations and have had many locals civilians released from custody having proved that there is no connection between a majority of the arrested civilians and the LTTE. Meetings have been held with the local SSP and DIG including the STF Commander as a result many locals from the Amparai and Batticaloa have been released from custody.

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