Mar 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is using the arrest of a female Tamil activist to mislead the international community and preparing background to disrupt ethnic harmony in the North, the government charged today.
Military Media spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said it has been learnt that the party is planning to hold protests in the North over the arrest of the female activist, Balendran Jayakumari.
The military spokesman said Jayakumari was arrested for harboring an armed criminal, a former LTTE cadre who shot at a police officer while hiding in her house.
Her 13-year-old daughter was not arrested as the TNA and some media reports said but she was handed over to child probation officers for protective custody since there was no one to care for the minor during her mother's detention.
The woman was detained by the court for 16 days under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The spokesman said the Northern Provincial Councilor Ananthi Sasitharan, the wife of LTTE's former political leader for Trincomalee Elilan, has even made a statement in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Council to mislead the international community depicting the arrest of Jayakumari as a measure against her activism for missing persons.
Brigadier Wanigasooriya said the twisting the facts behind the arrest had necessitated the government to clarify its actions.
He said that the armed LTTE cadre, known as Gobi had escaped from Vavuniya Welfare Centre immediately after the end of conflict and was taking shelter in Jayakumari's house in Kilinochchi and when a police team went to arrest him he opened fire while escaping and wounded a police sub inspector.
The Spokesman said the actions by the law enforcement authorities are well within the existing legal framework and are carried out to ensure peace, territorial integrity and national unity.
Several media agencies including Britain's Channel 4 and AP news headlined the incident as arresting the Tamil woman for pressing the case for war-missing son.
Military Media spokesman's full statement (As Ada Derana reported):
A team of law enforcement officers conducting an investigation into the recent distribution of handbills in the north by LTTE propagandists with a message detrimental to national unity have trailed a known ex-LTTE cadre named Gobi who had escaped from Vavuniya Welfare Centre immediately after the end of conflict. On reliable information that the suspect was hiding in a house in the Killinochchi area, the team went to arrest him on 13 March 2014. The suspect who was armed had opened fire while escaping, wounding an officer who is now hospitalized.
When the house he was hiding in was searched a F-3 type metal detector used to detect buried metal objects/mines was found in the premises. The owner of the house, a female named Balendran Jayakumari was taken into custody for harboring an armed criminal wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation. Her young daughter (a minor aged 13) was also taken into protective custody since there was no adult in the neighborhood willing to provide her with shelter.
The female was produced before the magistrate’s court and has been detained after following due legal procedures.
The allegations by Ananthi Sasitharan and other politicians with vested interests that this arrest was carried out as the suspect was one of their supporters are incorrect and totally baseless. Such misleading statements are politically motivated and we reject these attempts to hide the truth. The actions taken by the law enforcement authorities are well within the existing legal framework and are carried out to ensure peace, territorial integrity and national unity.