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No alliance with detained LTTE leader: Sri Lanka Govt

A top LTTE leader and a key suspect in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, currently in detention and presumably cooperating with the government, is not being groomed to be a provincial chief minister, Sri Lanka's defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said.

world Updated: Jul 05, 2010 19:44 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A top LTTE leader and a key suspect in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, currently in detention and presumably cooperating with the government, is not being groomed to be a provincial chief minister, Sri Lanka's defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said.

There was no "alliance" between Selvarasah Pathmanathan, also known as KP, and the government but the information gleaned from him was being used strategically, Rajapaksa told the government-run Sunday Observer.

KP once headed LTTE's international network. He was made the LTTE chief by a section of Tamil diaspora after V Prabhkaran's death in May, 2009. But in August last year, KP was arrested in a South East Asian country and brought back to Sri Lanka.

Since then, he has been an important source of information for the Lankan intelligence and is known to have shared details of LTTE's international networks of arms, finance and contacts.

KP is very crucial to the Lankan government to find out details of the hundreds of bank accounts that the LTTE maintained across the world. And even though the government might be denying it now, it does have a history of rewarding former LTTE leaders: one is currently a government minister and another is the chief minister of the eastern province.

Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa's younger brother, said that intelligence officers were grilling him for information and also using his contacts in the Tamil diaspora to start a dialogue.

He confirmed that KP played an important role last month when an eight-member Tamil diaspora team from across the world landed in Colombo to talk to the government.

Information about the visit, the first of its kind since the end of the civil war, was kept a secret. Besides meeting key officials in Colombo, the team was also taken on a tour of former war zones in the north.

According to the defence secretary, KP explained ground realities to the diaspora team and apparently told them there was no point in reviving separatist ideologies.

Rajapaksa said three Tamil diaspora groups had kept the separatist ideology alive and KP's support was important to mobilise support for the government within the diaspora.