Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday told the Sri Lankan Parliament that the recent attack on the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, was carried out not by Sri Lankans but Indian-origin Tamils affiliated to the Naam Tamizhar Katchi.
His comments come following news reports of five people being arrested in Malaysia for attacking the Sri Lankan High Commissioner around the visit of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. While earlier media reports in Sri Lanka said the attackers were from pro-LTTE groups, the Prime Minister on Tuesday said they were supporters of a political group in South India.
Mr. Rajapaksa was in Malaysia to attend a forum organised by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Delegations from Indian political parties too are participating.
Leaked CCTV footage of the attack – at the Kuala Lumpur airport – which was widely shared on social media earlier this week, showed the Sri Lankan High Commissioner being rounded up and assaulted by a group of men.
Following the incident, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon summoned the Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and insisted that immediate and swift action be taken to identify the perpetrators and legal action initiated. “The High Commissioner of Malaysia expressed deepest regret of the Government of Malaysia regarding the incident and informed that the Malaysian law enforcement authorities had already arrested five suspects , and that legal action would be taken against the perpetrators,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Seeman denies allegation
“Mr. Wickremesinghe has also visited India several times. We have not indulged in any violence or disrupted his visit. We are a political party and always express our opposition in a democratic manner. Personally, I have not incited anyone to indulge in violence,” he told The Hindu.
Nonetheless, he said such attacks and protests were inevitable as the Sri Lankan government was resorting to all kinds of unethical means to “exterminate Tamils” even after it had claimed that it had destroyed the LTTE. “Many captured LTTE cadres are poisoned to death and disappearance is order of the day. The Sri Lankan Navy seizes Tamil fishermen’s boats and shoots them at whim,” Mr. Seeman alleged.
“There are Tamil youths who seem to be angrier than me and the Malaysian incidents bear testimony to the bottled-up anger of the Tamils,” he said. (The Hindu)