Sri Lanka: Jaffna’s Mayor arrested for trying to resurrect LTTE

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on Friday arrested the Mayor of Jaffna Municipal Council Manivannan Visvalingam for allegedly trying to promote the ideology of the banned militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group, reports said.

Visvalingam was arrested on charges of attempting to resurrect the defunct LTTE by deploying five persons in uniform similar to those worn by the so-called police officers of the group, police said.

Further investigations have revealed that the five individuals were employed by the Jaffna Municipal Council.

Jaffna police and the TID recorded statements from the Municipal Commissioner of the Jaffna Municipal Council and several witnesses including the five men.

During the recording of statements, it has been revealed that the relevant persons have been temporarily recruited to the Municipal Council and deployed for official duties in a uniform designed by the Mayor.

Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the Mayor was arrested in connection with offenses of the Prevention under Terrorism Act (PTA).

Meanwhile, Visvalingam said that the uniforms were in fact the same as those worn by a similar task force ran by the Colombo Municipal Council. They hold no further connotations and that the police were making allegations based on social media conspiracy theories, he added, addressing a press conference.

The uniforms worn by the recruits allegedly resembled those of LTTE forces.

The Mayor’s arrest was condemned by many locally and internationally.