Govt doubts veracity of LTTE claim about abductions
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Govt doubts veracity of LTTE claim about abductions

The LTTE claimed that ten TRO personnel were abducted by pro-Govt paramilitaries late last month, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 18:21 IST

The Sri Lankan government has raised doubts about the veracity of the LTTE's claim that ten personnel of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) were kidnapped by pro-government paramilitaries late last month.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the media here on Thursday, that preliminary investigations into the alleged incident did not provide answers but only raised questions.

It was a "mystery" that the TRO had taken 30 hours to make a complaint to the police, though the nearest police station at Welikanda was only a quarter of a mile away from the scene of the kidnapping.

No complaint was lodged either at Batticaloa or at Colombo, though the TRO had offices in both places. There had been no formal complaint till the late afternoon of January 31.

On January 31, the pro-LTTE website "Tamilnet" reported a second case of abduction which was said to have occurred on January 29.

But till date, no formal complaint had been made about this to the police, Samaraweera said.

He pointed out that the LTTE had gone on a publicity spree on an international scale with alacrity but had kept the Sri Lankan police in the dark.

Refuting the claim that a complaint was made on January 31, he said that it was only on February 2 that a girl, who was in the hijacked van, had come to the Batticaloa police to lodge a complaint.

The driver of the van had also reported to the police the same day.

Samaraweera said that the "so-called" abductions raised two questions: Were they stage managed to hide the pressure being brought in other countries against fund raising by the TRO? Were they an attempt by interested parties to sabotage the forthcoming talks on the ceasefire agreement?

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was very keen that the Geneva talks take place and that he would not allow any one to sabotage them, Samaraweera said.

And to get the alleged abductions investigated at the top most level, Rajapaksa had appointed a team headed by two Deputy Inspectors General of police, four Senior Superintendents of Police and 22 other men.

This team would work in conjuction with the two detective teams already on the job, Samaaweera said.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 18:21 IST