Breakaway LTTE leader Karuna to enter parliament

October 6th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Oct 6 (IANS) Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, a former commander of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, was Monday named by the government as a member of Sri Lanka’s 225-seat parliament, official sources here said.According to a gazette notification, Karuna Amman, as the man is widely known and who heads the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), has been put on the national list of MPs of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Muralitharan, better known as ‘Colonel Karuna’, will be sworn in as MP,” the government information department said in a statement.

Karuna will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former UPFA MP Wasantha Samarasinghe, who chose to contest the recently held north-central provincial council election as a candidate of the Janatha Vimukti Peramuna (JVP), a former coalition partner of the UPFA.

Karuna returned to Sri Lanka in July from Britain after nine months in prison after authorities there found him guilty of illegally entering the country allegedly on a diplomatic passport.

Karuna, at one time the most trusted lieutenant of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), broke away from the Tigers in March 2004 when the Norwegian-brokered truce was in force.

Since then, he and his cadres have worked closely with the government. The TMVP deputy leader, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, is now the chief minister of the maiden provincial council in the country’s east.

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