Malaysia admits deporting LTTE members

April 23rd, 2010 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 23 (IANS) Malaysia “held and quickly deported” several key Tamil Tiger guerrillas in August 2009 and in March this year, it was announced Friday.
Federal Special Operation Force director Fuzi Harun said the members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were initially detained under a special preventive measure before being deported.

“We did not want them here any longer than necessary,” the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.

The first lot of deporation took place in August 2009, three months after the Sri Lankan military crushed the LTTE.

The report did not identify anyone by name. But it is known that one of the group’s highest ranking leaders, known widely as KP, was spirited out of Malaysia soon after the war ended.

Harun was commenting on Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement Wednesday that terrorists were hiding in Malaysia.

Harun declined to give details except that the terror suspects were nabbed at several locations in the country.

“Our action was to stop them from turning the country into their hub or base for global terrorist operations.

“If they were allowed to turn our country into a terrorist breeding ground, it would only harm (our) relationship with Sri Lanka and other countries,” he said.

Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the arrests of the LTTE leaders was made known to Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the recent Defence Services Asia Exhibition here.

“Rajapaksa appreciated our actions,” the minister said.

Malaysia is home to millions of Tamils, both from India and Sri Lanka. It has also for years served as a sanctuary for LTTE members.

Last week, slain LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s mother flew from Malaysia to Tamil Nadu in India. But Indian authorities deported her back to Malaysia by the same flight.

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