COLOMBO: A top LTTE leader, who is wanted in India in connection with the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, was today barred from leaving Sri Lanka by a court.
Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, who took over the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) following the death of Velupillei Prabakaran, was barred from leaving the country by the Court of Appeal.
The court granted the motion of order as a sub-decision based upon a petition filed by the Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). The JVP had filed a petition seeking KP's arrest.
KP, who was the chief international arms procurer for the LTTE, was arrested in Malaysia by Sri Lankan authorities and brought to the country.
He is wanted in India for his involvement in Gandhi's assassination in 1991. He was on an Interpol watch list for murder of the former Indian Prime Minister.
Since his arrest, KP has been spending time under government care and was put in charge of a non-governmental organisation handling conflict refugees and victims.
Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration came under criticism for pardoning KP while persecuting LTTE suspects for lesser offences.
After Rajapaksa's defeat, the JVP has sought to force the current government into action against KP.
He is believed to possess information on the LTTE's vast international assets.
The UN says 30,000 people were killed towards the end of the ethnic conflict in 2009 when the LTTE was finally crushed.
Sri Lankan voters ousted Rajapaksa from power last month, ending a 10-year rule that was marked by allegations of family rule, corruption and authoritarianism and chose his one-time minister Maithripala Sirisena in his place.