Prabhakaran should be tried in Sri Lanka, says parties

January 20th, 2009 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 20 (IANS) Sri Lankan political parties are insisting that Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran should be tried in this country if he is caught and not sent to India where too he is a wanted man.A media report said Tuesday that the political parties wanted Prabhakaran to be tried in Sri Lanka “for the crimes he has committed including the assassination of several political leaders”.

“We need not send Prabhakaran to India. Instead India can come here and sentence him as he has committed thousands of crimes in Sri Lanka compared to a handful in India,” said Udaya Gammanpila, legal advisor of the radical Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), an ally of the government.

“Prabhakaran deserves nothing but death sentence. He has caused mass destruction in this country for more than 30 years,” the state-owned Daily Mirror quoted Gammanpila as saying.

Prabhakaran, who founded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1976, is said to be now holed up in his last bastion Mullaitivu district, which Sri Lankan troops are now trying to capture.

The call for Prabhakaran’s trial comes at a time when some military officials have suggested that he may have already fled the country through the sea.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the third largest political force in the country, also demanded that Prabhakaran be sentenced in Sri Lanka.

It warned that handing him over to India would mean offering the LTTE leader virtual protection.

“If we hand him over to India or any other country, then we are certain that his security will be guaranteed. He deserves to be sentenced in Sri Lanka as he already has a 200-year jail sentence against him for the Central Bank bombing,” JVP’s powerful trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha said.

United National Party (UNP) MP Dayasiri Jayasekara has said that the government should try the Tigers chief under Sri Lankan laws for crimes he has committed.

The foreign ministry recently said that Colombo would consider extraditing Prabhakaran to India to be tried for the Rajiv Gandhi killing — if a formal request was made by the Indian government.

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