Varatharajapperumaal back in Sri Lanka ?
[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 January 1999, 20:04 GMT]
The EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran denied reports in Colombo today that Varatharajapperumaal, the former chief minister of the Northeastern Provincial Council is in Sri Lanka.
A popular FM station in Colombo reported today that the controversial chief minister of the EPRLF who fled to India in 1991 following the dissolution of his administration has come to the island.
Tamil political sources said that Mr.Varatharajapperumal appears to have returned from exile in north India where he lived under Delhi's special patronage with the blessings of Delhi officials.
The sources said that his return might be for the purpose of becoming a member of Parliament for the PA the leadership of which has been looking for a prominent Tamil personality to fill a vacancy in its parliamentary ranks recently.
The EPRLF, however, categorically denied that he was in Colombo.
But security sources at the Bandaranaike international airport said today that Mr.Varatharajapperumal had come from India two days ago and was cleared through the special VIP facility there.
EPDP and PLOTE sources in Colombo said that this might be a move on the part of the PA regime to secure the services of the EPRLF with the blessings of the Indian central government to win elections in the northern and eastern parts of the island next year.
The EPRLF's Razeek group operates as a powerful arm of the SLA in the east.
The PLOTE and EPDP sources in Colombo pointed out that it is the Tamil paramilitary group most trusted by the Sri Lankan regime.
The PA will need a substantial portion of Tamil votes in the north and east to make a comeback at the next parliamentary polls due next year.
They added that this is the only course of action for the ruling party today because its popularity has drastically dwindled to almost nought among ethnic Tamils in the island as a consequence of its discriminatory policies and human rights record.