TNA seeks GoSL response on abduction before budget voting

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 November 2007, 06:31 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan Monday morning urged the Speaker in Sri Lankan Parliament to prevail upon the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to secure the release of S. Sajitharan, the abducted son-in-law of Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian T. Kanagasabai, enabling the MP and other Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarians to vote on the Budget. Three of four Batticaloa district parliamentarians of the TNA were not present in the parliament Monday morning following threats from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) operated paramilitary, Pillayaan Group.

Stating that the abduction and telephone threats have been carried out by an armed group that operates with the protection of the armed forces of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sampanthan urged the speaker to prevail upon the Sri Lankan defence secretary to exert pressure on the group to release Mr. Sajitharan before the budget voting.

The paramilitary group has threatened the parliamentarians not to vote against the budget, TNA parliamentarians from Batticaloa told media Sunday.

TNA parliamentarians R. Sampanthan and Suresh Premachandran also protested against the sudden withdrawal of the police protection provided to the residences of TNA parliamentarians in Batticaloa. Police was removed from the residences and the family members were threatened by the paramilitary group that operates with police protection, TNA parliamentarian told the House.

Supporting the demand by the TNA parliamentarians, Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wikramasinghe said the UNP parliamentarian of Ratnapura district, Sagala Ratnayaka's family has been threatened by a gang.

The Sri Lankan assembly is scheduled to vote on the budget presented by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday evening.


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