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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Instead of Abducting they could have asked me to come

Dimuthu Attygala, a controversial character last week, found a few minutes to speak to The Nation just after her appearance at the party office in Kotte after missing 72 hours. Her party, Socialist Frontline Party, accused the government on abduction of its stalwarts Premakumar Gunarathnam and Dimuthu Attygala.

Dimuthu, the treasurer of the newly formed party and former In Charge of JVP’s international affairs, believes that her abductors had links with the security forces. Here, she explains to The Nation staffer Arthur Wamanan what took place during her abduction and release after 72 hours.

Following are the excerpts:

Q. Why do you think you were abducted?

I assume I was abducted because I am the Treasurer of the party. They had issues on how we were funded and because they thought I had links abroad. They said they had been following and monitoring me for quite a long time. I asked them why they had to abduct me. I said them, instead of abducting me, they could have asked me to come, and then I would have gladly come.

Q. What did they question you about?

They said they had issues with us on our international dealings, our funding and other links through which we get money. I had my bank books and some foreign currency with me. It was not a big amount. They questioned me on them. They also questioned me whether we had links with LTTE and on certain statements made by my fellow comrades.

Q. What exactly happened on the day of your abduction? Can you explain briefly?

I was on my way to my brother’s house on the evening of April 6. As I came near the house, I saw a white van. I saw people inside. I knew something was wrong, because I heard that people had been frequenting my areas on motorbikes. I saw person behind me. I had no option but to walk further. Some got off the van, blindfolded me and pushed me into the van. I was questioned for two days.

Q. Did they physically harass you?

They asked my name as soon as they took me inside the van. They hit me a couple of times when I did not respond to them. But they went through my documents and found out who I am.

Q. Why do you think they released you?

I do not know what was happening outside during the period I was under their captivity. I was told that there was intense agitation in the country by human rights groups and other organizations to release me and comrade Gunaratnam. There was also pressure exerted by the international community. I think a combination of these agitations resulted in our release.

Q. You have been released now. How do you feel about your security?

I do not feel that anything has changed. It is still the same and anything can happen.

Q. Have you taken any precautionary measures regarding your safety?

Well, I cannot do much from my side. I am dropped home after I finish my work. But apart from it, there is nothing that can be done. I cannot seek any other support, especially when I know those who abducted me have connection with the security forces.
Dimuthu Attygalle Interviewed by Arthur Wamanan courtesy: The Nation.lk


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