|Thursday, 23 September 2004|
Govt. committed to ensure release of two homeguards - Ratnasiri
by Bharatha Malawaraarachchi and Ranil Wijayapala
The Government is committed to take all possible steps within the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure the release of the two homeguards abducted by the LTTE in Trincomalee, acting Defence Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake told Parliament yesterday.
Condemning the abduction of two homeguards by the LTTE, the acting Defence Minister however said the Government is not ready to change any decision taken by the independent judiciary to meet the LTTE's demands to ensure the release of the two homeguards. The Minister made these observations responding to a matter raised by Government MP Wimal Weerawansa in Parliament on the situation in Trincomalee over the abduction of the two homeguards.
Wickramanayake said there had been suggestions by the LTTE for the release of eight LTTE cadres in Government prisons.
"We are not ready to change any decision taken by the independent judiciary to pay heed to the LTTE demands," the Minister added.
Wickramanayake said the Government has to act according to the Ceasefire Agreement since the agreement is still in force.
He said what should be observed is whether the two homeguards arrested was involving a violent act or not.
Weerawansa pointed out that day-to-day life in Trincomalee has been paralysed due to the hartal campaign launched by the civilian organisation in Trincomalee.
He said Parliament as a whole, should condemn this and press the LTTE for the release of the two homeguards.
Produced by Lake House