Explosives at TNA office: TNA MP to be questioned, aide arrested at BIA


By Shamindra Ferdinando

The police arrested Ponnambalam Luxmkanthan, a senior aide to TNA Jaffna District MP S. Sridaran, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, as he was about to board a flight for India.

The suspect, formerly of the LTTE media unit, was wanted for questioning in connection with the recovery of 500 grammes of ‘low’ impact explosives from the TNA political office in Kilinochchi.

The police searched the TNA office in the afternoon of January 12 after arrestung two persons, including a TNA activist allegedly supplying ‘low’ explosives for fishing purposes. The police arrested them at Gurunagar on the night of January 11 while they were travelling in a three wheeler.

A senior security official told The Island yesterday that the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) would shortly question MP Sridaran regarding the recovery of ‘low’ explosives and a stock of pornographic material from his office.

Asked whether Ponnambalam had recently met MP Sridaran, the official said that the suspect had been in touch with the politician. In fact, at the time, the police had searched the TNA office, Ponnambalam, too, was present along with Arunasalam Velamahaligithan, the office administrator, who functions as the TNA organizer for Kilinochchi.The official said that the police recorded Ponnambalam’s statement following the search, though he was not detained. According to him, the investigators had subsequently wanted to take Ponnambalam into custody. As he couldn’t be found, the police alerted the staff at the BIA of a possible attempt by the suspect to flee the country.

Ponnambalam had been involved with the LTTE for a long time, sources said, adding that he was one of the key propagandists.

The suspects arrested at Gurunagar had visited the TNA office in Kilinochchi earlier in the day hence those based at the office could not be unaware of the lucrative business in ‘low’ explosives, the sources said.

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