Lanka govt might make KP a state witness

Once a close aide of Vellupillai Prabhakaran and the arms runner of LTTE, Pathmanathan may be used as a state witness by Lankan authorities.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2010, 15:54 PM IST

Colombo: Once a close aide of Vellupillai
Prabhakaran and the arms runner of the Tamil Tigers, Kumaran Pathmanathan may be used as a state witness by Sri Lankan
authorities.

Popularly known as KP, the former LTTE leader is
wanted in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case,
and his role is also being determined in the Sri Lankan
Central Bank bombing in 1996 and arms procurement operations
oversees for terrorist activities in the country.

Not ruling out producing him as a state witness, a
senior Sri Lankan Minister has said there were provisions
available with the government in this regard.

KP took over the international wing of the LTTE after
the death of Tiger supremo Prabhakaran last year and was
subsequently arrested from a South East Asian country in
August, 2009.

He is considered to be a key custodian of Prabakaran`s
wealth and is believed to own five ships besides having 600
unidentified bank accounts which are sought to be frozen.

Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya
Rambukwella told reporters here on Thursday that all options
will be considered regarding producing KP as a state witness.
"About KP, there are many ground witnesses. Based on
the law of the land there are provisions to make him a state
witness," the minister said.

"We will consider whether any assistance can be
obtained from him in a manner which will suit the country with
regard to the current matter and international issues.

"There are many alternatives when dealing with the
world. We will not close those doors," the minister said.

The government is also exploring the possibility of
converting the assets and properties of KP into state property
and discussions have been held in this regard with the
Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

The state-run Sunday Observer had reported earlier
that KP was now leading efforts to bring together Tiger
sympathisers to assist in the rebuilding of the war-torn
Northern areas that were once their stronghold.

KP told the newspaper that several Tiger activists
living abroad had now begun to understand the "ground
realities" and want to offer help.

A nine-member delegation of activists living abroad
recently met Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister
of External Affairs G L Peiris in Colombo and discussed the
government`s re-building efforts.

Pathmanathan, who played a key role in bringing down
the delegation to Colombo, said initial "misunderstandings"
had been erased and a "vast change" has been observed in the
thinking of the Tamil diaspora, the newspaper said.

PTI