Tamil MP arrested in Sri Lanka for LTTE links

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Colombo: 

Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a pro-LTTE Tamil parliamentarian for alleged links to the Tamil Tigers and violation of the country's Emergency Regulations, a media report said on Tuesday.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) conducting investigations into LTTE activities on Monday produced Sathasivam Kanagaratnam, the lawmaker of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Nisantha Hapuarachchi.

The CID said the MP is alleged to have violated the Emergency Regulations and assisted the LTTE, the state-run Daily News reported. The authorities are looking into his links with the LTTE, the report said.

Kanagaratnam, who has represented the Wanni district in the Parliament since April 2004, was arrested by the CID recently while moving with the trapped civilians from the
uncleared areas. He was trapped in Mullaitivu for almost nine months.

"The CID has commenced an investigation against the MP who is alleged to have been involved with LTTE terrorist activities under the detention orders issued on May 21 by
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa," the paper said.

Investigations revealed that Kanagaratnam is alleged to have violated the Emergency Regulations and committed several offences, it said.

On an application by the CID, Judge Hapuarachchi ordered the CID to detain the suspect and conduct investigations and submit a comprehensive report to the Court on July 26.

According to an earlier media report, the main intention of Kanagarathnam to be in Mullaittivu was to live with the Tamil people who are facing severe difficulties in Wanni.

The government has stepped up operations into the former rebel-held areas to hunt down remnants of the LTTE after the military crushed the Tamil Tigers, with its supreme Velupillai Prabhakaran killed in the group's final battle against the troops last month.

The military believes that some lower-level cadres may still be in hiding and could try to regroup in a favourable environment.

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