NFF calls for Kumar’s release despite policy differences


by Zacki Jabbar

Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige should be released forthwith considering the circumstances of his case, the National Freedom Front (NFF) said on Thursday.

"We do have policy differences with the FSP, but one has to consider the situation that existed in the country in 1988/89 and the reason for Gunaratnam to act the way he did,"  NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa told a press briefing in Colombo.

He observed that Gunaratnam had been born and educated in Sri Lanka and had a right to live here. "Despite our differences of opinion, we believe he should be released immediately."

The FSP leader was arrested on Wednesday by the Police at his ancestral house bearing Number No 211/26, Anguruwella, Kegalle and produced before the Kegalle Magistrate on charges of violating immigration regulations. He was remanded till Nov. 18.

Police said that Gunaratnam was an Australian citizen and would be handed over to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to be deported to that country.

The FSP leader arrived in Sri Lanka on Jan. 01, this year using an Australian Passport (N 1016123) bearing the name Noel Mudalige. He had been granted a visa till Jan. 30, 2015 but did not leave the country nor make any public appearances. Gunaratnam was included in the FSP’s National List along with his real NIC No 653231890 V, for the last Parliamentary Polls

Born in Kegalle on Nov. 18, 1965 to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father, Gunaratnam played a major role behind the scene in the JVP’s revival in the aftermath of its top leaders being wiped out during anti-insurgent crackdown between 1987 and 1990 by the then government.

He alleged that he had been abducted by a group which came in a white van from a house at No: 291, Gemunu Mawatha, Kiribathgoda on April 06, 2012 and dumped near the Colombo Crime Division head office at Dematagoda in the early hours of April 09, 2012. The Australian High Commission intervened to secure his release. The following day, the FSP leader was deported to Australia, where he alleged he had been abducted, interrogated and tortured by men attached to the state intelligence agencies.

Gunaratnam had previously arrived in Colombo on Sept. 4, 2011 using his Australian passport and engaged in clandestine JVP operations, until the party faced a split paving the way for the creation of FSP.

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