EPDP demands 50 million from Batticaloa daily

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 October 2001, 15:53 GMT]
Mr. Douglas Devenanda, the leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party, a major partner of the People's Alliance, has demanded 50 million rupees in damages from Thinakathir, the Tamil daily newspaper published in Batticaloa.

The editor of the daily said Saturday that Mr. Devananda has sent a letter of demand through its lawyer Mr. P.V Srirangan for carrying a statement on 3 September by Mr. T. Maheswaran, ex-United National Party MP for Jaffna, in which he (Maheswaran) alleged that the EPDP had planned to kill him. Mr. Douglas Devanada has also sent a letter of demand to the Uthayan, the Jaffna Tamil daily, for publishing the same story.

thinakathir_131001.jpg
Cartoon published by Thinakathir Saturday in response to the Mr.Devananda's letter of demand.
In the letter of demand to the Thinakathir, Mr. Srirangan, attorney at law for Mr. Devananda says, among other things, "My client informs me that your Thinakathir newspaper published on 03.09.2001 carried a news item on page 16 which translated into English would read as "EPDP has planned to kill me". This news item is completely false and malicious and published with the intention to tarnish the image of my client and his party EPDP, and its members and its reputation, dignity, social standing and the political popularity within Sri Lanka and outside Sri Lanka and is published animus injuriandi and have (sic) caused pain of mind and loss of reputation to my client".

Mr. Maheswaran told the press last month that the EPDP was plotting to kill him in Jaffna. The EPDP is armed with assault rifles, machine guns and mortars by the Sri Lankan army. Opposition Tamil parties say that they cannot work freely in Jaffna due to fear of intimidation by the EPDP.

The Free Media Movement and sections of the Sri Lankan press have called on the government to investigate the alleged involvement of the EPDP in the murder of the independent journalist Mr. Mylvaganam Nimalarajan in October last year. Mr. Nimalarajan was the BBC's correspondent for Jaffna. No one has been taken into custody so far in connection with the journalist's murder.

 

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