In a goodwill gesture, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally intervened to allow safe passage for Tamil Tiger media coordinator Velaydam Dayanidi for medical treatment in Colombo after suffering a cardiac arrest and deployed security forces for protection outside the hospital where he was admitted.
President Rajapaksa agreed to military escorts to Dayanidi, better known as Thaya Master, following a request from his family for surgery at the Indian-run Apollo hospital in Colombo, Media Minister Anura Yapa said
Day Master, the media coordinator of The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), suffered a heart attack last night in the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi.
"Whatever the relations, given the nature of the request and on humanitarian rounds the President had no hesitation in agreeing," Yapa told reporters here.
"It is our culture to help people when they are in need."
Sri Lanka's Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said on Wednesday that Rajapaksa allowed Thaya Master to be brought to Colombo with military escorts from Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres from here.
Police and army troops were deployed outside the hospital.
Thaya Master travelled to the capital by road after the government turned down a request for a helicopter ride.