|Thursday, 4 July 2002|
|Security||Today's Top Story|
Kayts inquiry: No proof against Security Forces, EPDP
The Board of Inquiry appointed by the Ministry of Defence to inquire into the Kayts incident has concluded that there is no proof of evidence with regard to the alleged incident to establish a case against any individual or person.
Defence Secretary Austin Fernando in a press release said yesterday that the Board has come to this conclusion based on the inquiry proceedings, field inspections and informal discussions held with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
The Board which was appointed on June 26 by the Defence Ministry visited Velanai, Kayts island on June 28 and inspected the location where the alleged incident took place. The Board also met Mr. Anne Eggen of the SLMM prior to the commencement of the inquiry.
It questioned 15 persons representing the LTTE, EPDP, civilians, Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Police (SLP). In addition, it also inspected several documents which were in custody of the Army and the Navy.
The Board of Inquiry has observed the contradictions between the statements made by the parties to the Police and the Board, lack of documentary evidence that could prove Navy involvement in the incident and the non-availability of categorical evidence to prove that any identified EPDP member had been involved in this incident.
Further, it is observed that the relationship between LTTE and SLN and the EPDP had been poor and that there is no evidence at all to prove there was any involvement of the SLA in this incident.
The Board has recommended that confidence building measures between SLN Kayts and the LTTE should be identified and implemented. It also recommends a change of command at SLNS 'Kanchanandewa' and the establishment of an SLMM office in Kayts to defuse any situation swiftly.
The other recommendations by the Board include increasing the Police strength in Kayts and informing the LTTE hierarchy to ensure that the area leaders and their cadres act in a more cordial manner with the Armed Forces and the Police.
The Ministry is satisfied with the manner in which the inquiry has been held and had already instructed the Commander of the SLN, SLMM and the Police to make necessary arrangements, the release added.
The Defence Ministry expects that there would be better cordiality between the Armed Forces, Police, LTTE and EPDP membership and requests the SLMM to be a facilitator, it said.
Produced by Lake House