COLOMBO: A former top LTTE leader who later became a minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has launched a new political party to raise issues related to minority Tamils in Sri Lanka's North and East. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as Karuna Amman, commanded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - which waged a nearly three-decade-long ethnic conflict demanding a separate Tamil homeland - in the Eastern Province.
He served as Deputy Minister of National Integration in the Rajapaksa regime. Karuna yesterday launched the Tamil United Freedom Party (TUFP) in Batticaloa, a major city in the Eastern Province, the Colombopage reported. At the party's inauguration, he said TUFP would be based in Batticaloa and would open branches in the north and the east.
He said he would hold discussions with the Election Commission regarding the new party on Tuesday and try to get it registered soon. Karuna had a fallout with LTTE leader V Prabhakaran and took the leadership of its breakaway faction, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). After the civil war ended in 2009, he joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party with his supporters.