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EPDP member's coffin left outside SLMM office in B'caloa

by Ranil Wijayapala

People protesting over the killing of the Eelam People's Democratic Party member in Batticaloa, left his body outside the Batticaloa office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) last afternoon demanding the SLMM should take the responsibility for the murder.

The relatives and the party supporters of the slain EPDP member engaged in this protest, left the coffin outside the SLMM office and it was laid there for several hours, sources in Batticaloa said last night.

The EPDP activist, Arsaratnam Rathiswaran (32) was shot dead on Thursday afternoon in Batticaloa allegedly by the LTTE.

This is the second instance where people in Batticaloa protested over political killings allegedly by the LTTE by placing the body of slain political members at the Batticaloa SLMM office.

The SLMM has now come under heavy criticism for their lack of interest to investigate political killings allegedly by the LTTE. Two leading International human right groups Amnesty International and Human Right Watch also urged the SLMM recently to aggressively investigate these political killings by the LTTE.

SLMM Acting Chief Hagrup Haukland commenting on the protest told the Daily News last night that any democratic group have the right to protest against the SLMM. "It is up to them to protest against us. We have been informed of the killing", Haukland added.

Reacting to the Amnesty International's latest statement that the SLMM should go deeper into their mandate to investigate political killings, Haukland said that it was very easy for the outsiders to criticise the SLMM.

"We have to work according to our limitations. We also don't like killings. Nobody likes killings of this nature", Haukland added.

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