The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), said that compliance with `third parties` demands for it to keep silent about the abduction of its seven employees in government controlled Welikanda 67 days ago, if they wanted them released, had proved futile.
TRO Programme Director, Chandru Pararajasingham flanked by weeping family members of the abducted employees, told the media at the TRO Colombo office that they and families of the abducted received messages through `third parties` that if they kept silent and did not speak to the media the abducted would be `quietly released.`
`We complied with the demand and only answered media queries, but even after 67 days the whereabouts of our seven workers are not known`, he said.
Pararajasingham, said that they were purely a humanitarian organization and it was wrong to target their employees in this manner.
`We request the para military group that abducted our employees to release them without prolonging their agony further.The families of the abducted have continued to visit the ICRC,SLMM and TRO offices on a daily basis in an effort to keep the issue of the disappeared loved ones alive.`
Weeping parents and wifes of the seven missing TRO employees also pleaded with the group that abducted their loved ones to release them forthwith.
Pararajasingham, said that the TRO had no political agenda and only wanted to ease the sufferings of the people in the North-East.
`We have never issued political statements and have focused purely on our humanitarian work.`
He, said that over the past six weeks TRO has worked with third parties, Human Rights Commission and police investigators to ascertain the whereabouts and facilitate the safe release of the abducted TRO staff.
`TRO staffers in Colombo and throughout the North-East have also endured incessant threatening phone calls and faxes over the past two months.Despite this harassment the humanitarian work that TRO is engaged in has continued and will continue as long as there is a need. TRO will not capitulate to intimidation or threats`, Pararajasingham said.
Ranil returns after official Indian tourUNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, returned to Colombo on April 5, after an official tour of India, on the invitation of the Indian government.
During his tour he held discussions with the leaders of the Indian Central Government, the opposition and several other political parties, including the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh, the former Prime Minister Athal Bihari Vajpai and Indian Congress Party Leader Sonia Gandhi.
The former Indian Prime Minister Athal Bihari Vajpai who met the opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his official residence in New Delhi said all political party leaders in Sri Lanka should strive hard to stabilise the present peace process reached through the CFA, preventing escalation of war. Wickremesinghe thanked the former Indian Prime Minister for his co-operation extended, during his tenure of office as the Prime Minister.
Wickremesinghe, who met the Indian Congress Party Leader, Sonia Gandhi, at her residence in New Delhi, on April 3, said he intends to launch a `Rajiv Gandhi Commemoration Programme` in memory of his dedication shown to bring peace to Sri Lanka, through the Indo-Ceylon Pact.
The two leaders held a long discussion dealing deeply on the present status of the peace process and future strategies for its stabilisation.
Wickremesinghe, also held discussions with the BJP leader and Indian opposition leader, Lal Krishna Advani, on April 3 with an emphasis on the strategies and aspirations of the two political parties.
Party MPs Milinda Moragoda, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Sri Lankan Ambassador in New Delhi Romesh Jayasinghe, foreign affairs co-ordinator to the opposition leader, Dr. V. K. Wilson and media secretary Saman Athaudahetti also participated in the tour.