Dimuthu alleges abductors came in a white van

By Prabath Withana

Dimuthu Attygalle, the Central Committee member and the Women’s and International Affairs Secretary of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) yesterday said that some persons who came in a white van had abducted her while she was returning home at Godagama, after engaging in some political activity last Friday (6).

Addressing a news conference, she said that after she had been abducted, one of the abductors hit her once for not answering their questions, but added that it never happened thereafter.

"The moment I was abducted, they blindfolded me with a black band. They said that since I was a woman they were not in a mind to hit me further," she said.

When she was not being questioned, they had handcuffed both her hands and legs and she was confined to a room, Attygalle told the news conference.

"I was moved from place to place and they kept on questioning me on various issues. Some of the questions they asked me were about our party’s international links, details about my bank account, how I receive funds, Lalith and Kugan, whereabouts of some of our party members, the party’s plans in the North and whether I had any links with the LTTE Diaspora," she said.

Attygalle said that she felt that their party leader Kumar Gunaratnam had also been brought to the place that she was kept last Saturday (7) and questioned.

Her abductors had also asked her whether her party had an armed wing demanded to know details of the party’s future plans and the convention held on April 09.

"On April 7, I was moved to a place which I guessed was a camp close to the main road and I could hear the noises from the houses in the neighbourhood," she said, adding that a person who had not questioned her earlier said that Kumar Gunaratnam who was an Australian citizen would be sent back to Australia, there was an issue about his passport and she would be released once Gunaratnam had left the country.

"Though two of those who came to abduct me, having got down from the vehicle, said that this was retribution for what was done to the JVP, those who questioned me said they had got help from the JVP to crush us. I don’t know whether they said that to mislead," Attygalle said.

She said she felt that they were of the opinion that the JVP was not a problem to those governing the country. They had even mentioned the need for an opposition in the country, though they scolded both, the JVP and the UNP. They had also condemned as wrong what the JVP dissidents were doing. "No good will come to the country from what you all are doing. What was won with great difficulty is now going to be lost," they had said according to the FSP Central Committee member.

The country had become unpopular internationally. The Geneva resolution had affected them badly, she had gathered from their conversations. Attygalle had told them in reply that the JVP dissidents had no intention of doing anything that would harm the country and their party was being built not to carry out any such an agenda.

Attygalle said her abductors tried repeatedly to impress upon her that that neither the government nor the security divisions were in any way involved in the incident. If we thought that way, they had said we had been misled. "We know that once you go out you all will issue statements linking Mr. Gotabhaya, but he had no involvement in any of this," her captors had said.

When she had asked them whether they could carry out such an act armed with T-56 assault rifles without State blessings, they had kept silent.

The officer who questioned her had said he was satisfied with clarifications given by her. "He believed that we had made truthful statements. They had been of the mistaken belief that we were involved in militant activities, having links with the LTTE Diaspora and receiving funds from them. And since questioning had revealed that we had no such links they were going to release us," she said.

Her captors had also repeatedly told her that without unnecessarily suffering she could go to Australia and live happily with her sisters. They had also urged her to reconsider her political line without making any threats.

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