Former Sri Lankan rebel backs president

Kilinochchi, Sep 18 (IANS) A former top Sri Lankan rebel said Wednesday that he believes President Mahinda Rajapaksa can resolve the minority Tamil issue.

Speaking at a special press briefing in the former rebel town of Kilinochchi in the north of the country, former Tamil Tigers chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan said that Rajapaksa has the calibre to address the Tamil issue, Xinhua reported.

Pathmanathan was arrested in Malaysia in 2009 and detained in Sri Lanka before he was freed and allowed to operate a children's home.

He said some members of the Tamil diaspora, including an organisation known as the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), is not serious about Tamil issues.

TGTE is led by former LTTE member V. Rudrakumar and operates mainly from the US.

"I started the TGTE but now they have shifted focus and have other agendas," he said.

However, Pathmanathan noted that not all in the diaspora are involved in the campaign against the government.

"Some people in the diaspora are supporting me in my work to help the war-affected people in the north," he said.

He also said that the international community should not interfere in Sri Lankan affairs as the government could deal with issues in Sri Lanka.

Pathmanathan also accused the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil party in Sri Lanka, of looking at dividing the country using the Northern Provincial Council elections.

The Northern Provincial Council election will be held Saturday.

--Indo-Asian New Service



Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.