Ex-LTTE combatant, lover arrested, murder weapons found

In the wake of allegations targeting Defence Secy

By Shamindra Ferdinando

In the wake of allegations that the military had killed Andrew Mahendrarajah Anthonipillai, a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin at Kaagncheepuram lane, near Paranthan junction, on May 3, the police have arrested five persons, including an ex-LTTE combatant for their alleged involvement in the killing.

All five were produced before the Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court on May 24 and remanded pending further inquiries.

The Canadian High Commission yesterday declined to comment on the investigation.

The police identified the LTTEer as A. Akilan (27), a member of the military wing, who had undergone rehabilitation in Vavuniya at the conclusion of conflict in May, 2009.

The police said that Akilan had killed the Canadian citizen at the behest of J. Arniya (26), a married woman whose husband, Rajah prepared meals for the victim. Arniya was among the arrested.

Anthonipillai had recently launched construction of a house at ‘Anthonipillai farms’, Kumarikudah, Paranthan, situated next to Rajah’s house.

A senior official supervising the investigation told The Island that woman had a relationship with ex-LTTE cadre and influenced him to kill the Canadian. Arniya had told Akilan that the Canadian had Rs. 2 mn in his possession and that could be theirs if he could kill him. The police said that Arniya’s move had been prompted by a dispute she had with the Canadian regarding a financial matter.

A section of the media, sympathetic to the LTTE, alleged that the Defence Ministry and the military intelligence had carried out the killing to facilitate the Cargills Food City to take over valuable property belonging to the Canadian near the Murunkan temple, Kilinochchi. Tamil Net alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered the Canadian’s killing to help interested parties to take over valuable property.

Mahendrarajah, a native of Karampan, Jaffna, had been living in Montreal with his wife, Nirangini and three children, Alvin, Thanuya and Vinoth.

Investigations revealed that on the night of May 3, Anthonipillai had dinner at 8.15 p.m at his house under construction before a gang led by Akilan pounced on him.

Arniya’s husband, Rajah told investigators how he heard Anthonipillai calling his name but was prevented from rushing to the scene by a person. Rajah had promptly called Nagendran Ambagapalan, grameseveka of the area, who in turn alerted the police by 8.50 p.m, on the same day.

Having interrogated the suspects, the police recovered a laptop, iron bars, an axe and a hand phone.

A senior official told The Island that the Canadian HC could obtain required information from local authorities.

He alleged that those bent on hauling Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal over accountability issues were using incidents to stop extradition of failed asylum seekers from Western countries. The recent UK decision to stop deportation of 40 failed asylum seekers was a case in point, the official said. The official alleged that the case of the murdered Canadian was used extensively to discourage Sri Lankan Tamils from visiting the country.

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