UN worker arrested with small pistol in Sri Lanka

April 30th, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, April 30 (IANS) A Sri Lankan national working with the World Food Programme (WFP) of the UN was arrested Wednesday with a micro pistol in his possession at a security roadblock in the north of the island nation. “The suspect was travelling from Kilinochchi to Batticaloa when he was arrested by the security forces at the Irattaperiyakulam road block in Vavuniya around 12.45 p.m. on Wednesday,” the defence ministry here said.

It said that the suspect, identified as Thiagaraja Prabhakaran, “is a resident of Batticaloa and is currently working with the UNDP office in Kilinochchi”, an area held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north.

According to the ministry, the suspect while questioning confessed that an LTTE agent had given him the micro pistol to be handed over to a person in the eastern Batticaloa district, where the provincial council election is set to be held May 10.

“The terrorists have promised to give him a sum of Rs.50,000 once the task is completed,” it said, adding that an initial payment of Rs.30,000 was also recovered from him.

Meanwhile, the UN office here said Wednesday evening that it was “aware of the arrest of a Sri Lankan staff member this afternoon, who was travelling from Kilinochchi to Batticaloa, and in possession of a small weapon”.

“We understand that the staff member was travelling in a private vehicle outside his working hours. Upon learning of the event, the UN immediately informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the UN office said.

“The matter is currently under police investigation while the UN is fully cooperating with the authorities,” it said.

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