Tamil who fled Sri Lanka dies in UK

A Tamil has died following a confrontation with a group of teenagers in the east Midlands town of Leicester.

London: A Tamil, who escaped alleged persecution in Sri Lanka and moved to the UK after gaining asylum in Germany in 1993, has died following a confrontation with a group of teenagers in the east Midlands town of Leicester.

The local police have appealed for witnesses after launching a murder investigation into the death of Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja, 41, who died a week after he was found with serious head injuries sustained during the confrontation on June 9.

Six boys, aged 15, 13 and four aged 14, and a girl aged 14 have been arrested as part of the murder investigation, and have been released on police bail, reports from Leicester said.

The deceased`s wife, Mathanika Nimalaraja, who is being supported by the local Tamil community, has urged local parents to come forward and help the investigation if they had any information about the incident.

She told the Leicester Mercury, a leading local daily, that her husband faced persecution in Sri Lanka.

She said: "He was beaten all over his body by soldiers from an army camp. He went to live in Colombo.

"He left because it was not a safe place to live and was given asylum in Germany in 1993".

Mathanika said her husband decided to move the family to England because he wanted the children to speak English, like most of the extended family, who had moved to Canada.

Detective Constable Scott Cairns, a family liaison officer, said: "It is an appeal from the mother of two children left without their father to other parents to come forward and tell us what happened, to try and give this nice, hard-working family some resolution".

PTI

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