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EPDP paramilitary group pledges support to Rajapaksa

The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a pro-government Tamil paramilitary organisation accused of committing a litany of human rights abuses, has expressed its support for the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, as the political crisis on the island continues. 

The EPDP was one of the groups closest aligned to Rajapaksa, supporting him in the 2005 presidential election. The group stands accused of committing murders, extortion and running drug smuggling and prostitution rings with Tamil children, allegedly trafficking them into its networks in Malaysia and India.

See more on the EPDP’s activities, described in a leaked US embassy cable from 2007, here

Meanwhile, the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has also pledged its support for Rajapaksa. Arumugam Thondaman, CWC leader,  claimed the decision to back Rajapaksa was made after he received assurances that he will support wages for plantation workers.