x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sri Lanka frees Tiger leader wanted by India

?Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who was arrested in August 2009, was no longer in detention and was free to carry out work for a charity he had formed, said Lakshman Hulugalle, a defence ministry spokesman.

COLOMBO // The last leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels, who is wanted by India over the assassination of former premier Rajiv Gandhi, has been freed from military custody, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who was arrested in August 2009, was no longer in detention and was free to carry out work for a charity he had formed, said Lakshman Hulugalle, a defence ministry spokesman.

The news emerged when Mr Hulugalle was asked how Mr Pathmanathan, who has an Interpol arrest warrant initiated by India against him, was reportedly living in the island's north.

India regards Mr Pathmanathan, 58, as a key suspect in the May 1991 assassination of Gandhi by a Sri Lankan Tamil suicide bomber during an election rally in Tamil Nadu.

Mr Pathmanathan, the chief international arms buyer for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was appointed the head the group by its elusive leader Velupillai Prabhakaran just before he was killed by Sri Lankan troops in 2009.

There was no immediate comment from the Indian embassy on Mr Pathmanathan's release.