Government is silent on disarming the paramilitaries

by Rajasingham Jayadevan

Illegal sand dredging business of the EPDP is carried out in the very knowledge of the security forces in the north.
(January 24, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The paramilitary leader and the government minister Douglas Devananda is strenuously trying to create a better image about his EPDP group without addressing the publicised issues associated with his nefarious engagements in the north and east.

He attempted to be ethical, when he cried in the parliament about the kidnaps and murders in the north and he denied his men were not involved in the rapes exposed by the Wikileaks. He also did not fail to issue a public warning to his paramilitary cadres to behave themselves against the public in the future and that stern action will be taken against them.

Having mollycoddled by the President and his military establishment, Douglas Devananda is enjoying unquestionable freedom and impunity and his reprehensible mission has not ended with the downfall of the military might of the LTTE in May 2009. He is allowed to extend his paramilitary activities with the backing of the military and all kinds of illegal activities are said to be carried out by him in the very glare of the state security and administrative mechanisms.

Severely brutalised Tamil people are not even able to hold a poster against the nefarious activities of Douglas Devananda and there is considerable unease among the people and they are unable to speak out against the culprits of crimes in the north.

Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe stated there are no underworld gangs in Jaffna. Even the beggar in the Jaffna town knows there are no underworld gangs operating in the north, but only the government patronised underworld like Douglas’s paramilitary group and the hardcore associates of the former LTTE commander Mahataya who are the overprotected babies of the state extending its agenda unchecked.

Let us look at the status quo of the EPDP.

This group is permitted to carry arms and no effort has been made to publicly surrender and disown them.

Their main office in Jaffna is said to be illegally occupied Srithar theatre. No effort has been made to vacate the place for the owners to run their business.

The EPDP is illegally occupying properties in the north and east to provide accommodation to its cadres. Any request for vacating the properties is met with violence and intimidation by the group.

Illegal sand dredging business of the EPDP is carried out in the very knowledge of the security forces in the north.

The Jaffna administrative office Kachcheri of the government is said to be a money spinning centre for the EPDP. Illegal taxes are said to be levied by the group in addition to raising funds by coercive means for their Maheswary Valautham Trust Fund of the group. The Government Agent of Jaffna Mrs Imelda Sugumar is maintaining dumbfounded silence over the revelation of this scandal in the Kachcheri.

The Wikileaks revelation of the frightful activities of the EPDP group in the islets off Jaffna has been denied by Douglas Devananda. A former administrative officer involved in the islets who has full knowledge of the harrowing accounts of rapes by the EPDP cadres has recently migrated to the UK and have claimed asylum. According to him the extent of the rapes carried out by this group is terrifying. The ex-officer was sobbing and could not tell me the individual accounts of the rapes. Fear of reprisal against the victims and his relatives if EPDP identified him for the revelation is preventing the source to make known the accounts. If and when permission is given by the ex-officer, Sri Lanka Guardian will publish them to expose the scale of the barbaric deeds of this group.

In addition to the aforementioned illegal activities, the EPDP group is also said to be involved in extensive money laundering activities without any intervention by the state.

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