Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tamil MP questioned over vehicle

TNA parliamentarian K. Sivajilingam was questioned by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) for more than ten hours over allegations that he had handed over a vehicle to the LTTE in the Wanni after driving through the Omanthai check point.

The TID also questioned the MP about his regular trips to the Wanni, meetings with the LTTE and addressing rebel propaganda meetings during overseas visits.

The questioning came following allegations that the MP had taken a vehicle belonging to the Tamil Rehablitation Organsation TRO and handed it over to the LTTE. He had walked back through the check point after a few hours.

The funds of the TRO had been frozen on a directive of the courts. The MP told The Sunday Times he had explained to the TID that he had the right to park the vehicle in any location and denied that the vehicle was handed over to the LTTE.

Earlier this week President Mahinda Rajapaksa making an obvious reference to this case told a group of editors and senior journalists that there was an instance where an MP had handed over his vehicle to the LTTE and returned to the government-controlled area.

The MP has been asked to report to the TID for further questioning on Tuesday.


TNA MPs escape claymore attack by Chris Kamalendran

Two Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians narrowly escaped a claymore mine blast in an LTTE-held area close to Kilinochchi, one of the MPs said yesterday. An LTTE cadre was killed in the blast on Thursday and two others were injured as their vehicle — a white jeep similar to the one in which parliamentarians Selvam Adaikalanathan (Wanni district) and K. Sivanesan (Jaffna district) were travelling — was caught in the explosion on the A9 highway in the Old Murukandy area, 12 kilometres south of Kilinochchi.

“We believe that we were the target as our vehicle was similar to the ill-fated jeep. We escaped because we started our journey late,” Mr. Adaikalanathan told The Sunday Times after he reached his Mannar residence yesterday.

“When we arrived at the scene of the blast we saw the burning jeep and the body of the LTTE cadre on the side of the road while the injured were being removed to hospital,” he said. Soon after the blast, members of LTTE’s ‘border force’ and ‘police’ conducted a search operation but failed to detect any of the persons responsible for the attack, he said.

An LTTE spokesman yesterday, however, down played the incident, claiming that it was a road accident in which one of its cadres was killed.

The incident, near the famous Ganesh temple in Murukandy where travellers usually stop to pay homage, occurred a week after a director of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and his driver were killed in a similar claymore mine attack in Periyamadu. Earlier an Education officer was also killed in a similar attack. The LTTE has blamed the army’s deep penetration unit for the attacks.