Professor S.Ratnajeevan.H.Hoole, UGC Coordinator for Engineering, University of Jaffna,has flown out of Sri Lanka to a Country in the west.
Prof.Hoole has left Sri Lanka against the backdrop of “legal action “initiated against him by cabinet minister Kathiravelu “Douglas” Devananda.
Douglas Devananda, secretary-general of Eelam Peoples Democratic Party(EPDP) is regarded as the most powerful Tamil politician in the North.
Devananda’s power&influence extends far beyond the portfolio of Traditional Industries held by him in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet.
For instance,It is alleged that several senior govt officials, Jaffna varsity academics & judicial officers are controlled by Douglas Devananda.
AGA divisions of Delft,Kayts&velanai within the Kayts electoral division in Jaffna district are considered to be strongholds of the EPDP.
When local authority elections were held in the north on July 23rd 2011 the EPDP was able to win in only these three Pradeshiya Sabhas.
Prof.Hoole visited areas in the Kayts electoral division on election day & discovered many excesses & violations of election laws taking place.
He wrote an article“Pitfalls in the President’s Alliance with the EPDP–A Visit to Kayts on Elections Day”based on his first-hand experience.
EPDP news website of July 29th said Kayts Police had questioned Prof.Hoole concerning a defamatory article written by him about Devananda.
EPDP news website of Aug 1st said Prof.Hoole had agreed to come to the Kayts police station on July 31st but had not come after telephoning.
Prof.Hoole issued a statement refuting the news items in the EPDP news website. He said the Kayts Police had not contacted him as mentioned.
Subsequently Prof.Hoole was contacted&Inspector Silva & Sgt.Nandakumaran of Kayts Police recorded his statement in Jaffna on August 2nd.
Prof.Hoole in his statement responded to six charges made by minister Devananda in his complaint to Kayts Police about the article at issue.
Prof.Hoole said in a statement that minister Devananda by pursuing legal action was attempting to scare him&stop criticism of the EPDP chief.
On August 4th a Policeman went to Prof.Hoole’s office with a “summons” requiring him to be present at the Kayts courts on August 5th at 9am.
Nature of the summons indicated that Prof.Hoole would face a criminal charge & that he may be remanded in custody unless otherwise given bail.
It was also feared that the reason for a complaint being filed in Kayts instead of Jaffna was aimed at “jail without bail” for Prof. Hoole.
It was alleged magistrates have not found it easy at times to control the large numbers of EPDP cadres usually present in Kayts courts.
Since the hastily issued summons gave him little time for making adequate preparation,Prof.Hoole decided to seek a later date from courts.
He found several lawyers refusing to appear in the Kayts courts because of the influence allegedly enjoyed by the EPDP in the Kayts area.
Some lawyers were apprehensive about appearing at the Kayts courts in a case antagonistic to Devananda as they feared deadly repercussions.
Finally a lawyer instructed by senior attorney&ex-Jaffna TNA MP -N.Sri Kantha- represented Prof.Hoole at Kayts courts& sought a later date.
Prof.Hoole’s absence was deemed as contempt of court by the Kayts magistrate who issued a warrant against him on that count.
A warning was issued that an open warrant for Prof.Hoole’s arrest would be issued if he failed to be present in court on August 15th.
It is in this potential “jail without bail” situation that Prof.Hoole has left Sri Lanka.When he will return to Sri Lanka is the key question.
This is a bundle of tweets posted on Twitter by DBS Jeyaraj