Arrested over call for Tamil Tigers’ return
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