The manner in which Selvarasa Pathmanathan was ‘arrested’ and ended up in the custody of the Sri Lankan state that is widely accused of war crimes, genocide and state terrorism, raises serious concerns about the world outlook to political justice, Tamil circles said. Mr. Pathmanathan who denounced violence was engaged in re-organising the LTTE and in consenting the formation of a transnational body for the Eezham Tamils. Meanwhile, acknowledging Pathmanathan’s custody, Colombo’s minister and spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwela said Friday: “There was some false hopes that after the LTTE was crushed that movement could be revived with Pathmanathan. But we have proved that we have the capability of getting to them from wherever they emerge.”
Mr. Pathmanathan, a senior member of the LTTE was appointed in January as the head of its international relations and was recently named by a committee as its chairperson.
According to Tamil circles, Mr. Pathmanathan was mysteriously kidnapped in Malaysia on Wednesday and was sent to Colombo.
There were earlier reports that he was arrested in Thailand but the Thai Prime Minister refuted them.
Colombo refused to identify the country where he was arrested but said that its personnel were involved in the act.
For quite some time now, certain intelligence and journalistic sections were pressing for the arrest of Pathmanathan. Some of them were dubious with seeming sympathy to him in order to deviate blame and ultimately to confuse the course of Tamil nationalist struggle, said Tamil circles.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Friday that his government would “allow any country to question Mr Pathmanathan now in custody keeping with the agreements and conventions with those respective countries.”
India and Sri Lanka have registered cases against him with the Interpol long back.
Colombo’s track record about Tamil political prisoners is notorious for more than quarter a century, ever since the 1983 brutal prison killings of the leaders like Kuttimani and Thangadurai and humanitarian workers like Dr. Rajasundaram.
Sri Lankan state has graduated now, with what seems to be international assent, to incarcerate cadres of the liberation struggle in tens of thousands and civilians in hundreds of thousands as war prisoners without any guarantee to their lives.
Currently there are fears about the lives of hundreds of senior LTTE leaders.
As war criminals and terrorists hide behind the banner of state and the world doesn’t care for a whole nation incarcerated, a revealing news was the Reuter reporting that stock market significantly went up in Colombo with the arrest of Pathmanathan.