Dr. J.J. volunteers a trip to Iraq

Nov 2 (IL) Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena yesterday vowed to even go to the extent of risking his life to secure the release of the Sri Lankan national now being held hostage by an Iraqi armed group.

Jayawardena said, "I will definitely go to Iraq and negotiate for the release of Dinesh Rajaratnam if the necessity arises. I am willing to risk my life for his release," he vowed. He also claimed that he was not taking advantage of the hostage situation and playing politics.

He also pointed out that the Government has failed to even condemn the incident. "A senior Minister has come on radio and claimed that they are unable to do much about the incident because Saturday and Sunday are non-working days. But this is a serious matter; the Government's excuse is absurd. They could have even written to the UN. After all it is functional 24 hours," Dr. Jayawardena noted.

Meanwhile Dr. Jayawardena, who is also the Chairman of UNP Committee on Refugees and Human Rights in a letter to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights appealed for UN's immediate intervention to secure the release of the Sri Lankan truck driver.

In separate letters to the Director General International Organisation for Migrants (IOM) and the President of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Jayawardena urged them to also intervene in the matter and take necessary steps in order to rescue the Sri Lankan truck driver who was abducted by an Iraqi extremist group last Friday