Ar­rested over call for Tamil Tigers’ re­turn

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A FORMER Sri Lankan min­is­ter was ar­rested this week for call­ing for the re­turn of the Tamil Tigers, a guerilla group that waged a long civil war in the is­land coun­try.

Vi­jayakala Ma­h­eswaran, who was ar­rested when she went to tes­tify to the or­gan­ised crime divi­sion of the Sri Lankan po­lice, had made the com­ments at an event in June – when she was deputy min­is­ter of Women’s Af­fairs, a po­lice source told Efe news.

“When we con­sider our lives prior to May 18, 2009, to­day’s cir­cum­stances call for the re-emer­gence of the LTTE (Lib­er­a­tion Tigers of Tamil Ee­lam). To en­force the safety of our chil­dren and women, to see them come home safely from their schools, LTTE gov­er­nance must come into op­er­a­tion,” Ma­h­eswaran said.

Ac­cord­ing to her, crime was al­most non-ex­is­tent in north­ern Sri Lanka dur­ing the guerilla regime.

The com­ments led to a po­lit­i­cal storm in the coun­try, es­pe­cially among Sin­halese na­tion­al­ist politi­cians, in­clud­ing the sup­port­ers of former pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japaksa.

Par­lia­ment re­ferred the in­ci­dent to the at­tor­ney-gen­eral and the po­lice started a par­al­lel in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine whether the ex-min­is­ter’s com­ments had jeop­ar­dised na­tional se­cu­rity.

Ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial fig­ures, the civil war in Sri Lanka be­tween the army and the Tamil Tigers from 1983 to 2009, killed be­tween 60 000 and 100 000. – IANS

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