Slain Tiger’s mother stopped from leaving for Canada

Govt. alleges diaspora-diplomatic initiative to relocate Tigers’ relatives

By Shamindra Ferdinando

LTTE members and supporters active overseas had launched a special project to secure asylum for close relatives of dead LTTE cadres, a senior security official alleged yesterday.

The official was responding to a query by The Island regarding the arrest of Sundaralingam Rajithamalar (57), mother of Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan killed during an army operation at Vedivachchikallu, south of Nedunkerni last April.

Rajithamalar was prevented from leaving the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday morning, though she had a valid Canadian visa.

Thevihan was involved in LTTE air attacks on the Anuradhapura air base in October 2007 and the Kolonnawa Petroleum Storage facility also in the same year. Having joined the LTTE during Eelam war III, Thevihan became a key member of Air Tigers. The incident off Nedunkerni was the first between the army and the LTTE since the LTTE was defeated on May 19, 2009. The army also shot dead Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gopi and Navaratnam Navaneethan alias Appan.

The official said Rajithamalar couldn’t be allowed to leave the country as authorities were still investigating Thevihan’s involvement in an attempt to revive the LTTE. Asked whether the government was inquiring into the possibility of some Western governments cooperating with the Diaspora project, the official said: "Rajithamalar received a Canadian visa valid for six years, whereas genuine travelers are routinely refused visas by Western embassies.

Early this month, we prevented Kajeepan Sarmila, the wife of Gopi, who died along with Thevihan, from leaving the country."

The official revealed that Rajithamalar had applied for Canadian visa when Sarmila got a from the Swiss embassy. Authorities at the BIA turned away Sarmila on Oct. 6, 2014. Canada issued a visa for Rajithamalar on Oct 9, 2014.

Authoritative sources alleged that Davide Vignati, First Secretary (Political) at the Switzerland embassy here had intervened when Gopi’ wife was prevented from leaving the country.

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