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SLPP’s Kariyawasam says Karuna is not from the party and is contesting against them

SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam

ECONOMYNEXT- The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is distancing itself from its former ally Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan the LTTE leader better known by his nom-de-guerre Karuna Amman.

This is after the former Eastern Commander of the LTTE controversially boasted he had been part of the attack on the Army at Muhamalai that killed between 2,000 and 3,000 soldiers.

In fact the fighting in Muhamalai, the Forward Defense Line of the Army which went on from 2001 to about 2008 did see heavy casualties but between 2,000 is too high an estimate, military sources said.

General Secretary of the SLPP Sagara Kariyawasam said that they cannot take any responsibility for a statement made by Karuna as he is not a candidate from his party.

“We cannot take responsibility for a statement from a candidate who is not contesting from our party,” he said.

Karuna is contesting in the Digamadulla district under the banner of the Akhila Ilankai Tamil Mahasabha.

He was an ally of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Karuna said last week that Mahinda had invited him to come to Parliament on the National List.

Previously he was also a Vice President of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Kariyawasam told reporters this morning, at that time Karuna was “working as a Sri Lankan who gave all the help and support to defeat Prabhakaran and the LTTE.”

“But now he is contesting against us in the Digamadulla electoral district. We don’t have any political connection with the Karuna Amman when related to the 2020 election. The party has not discussed anything about giving him a national list position,” he added.

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The SLPP has put up its own list in Digamadulla.

Karuna in a speech at a rally boasted that he was “more dangerous than Corona because the disease had killed only 11 and we had killed between 2000 and 3000 Sri Lankan soldiers in one night at Elephant pass,” when he was in the LTTE.

Kariyawasam said that the SLPP strongly condemns the statement made by Karuna.

Today, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne directed the CID to launch an immediate police investigation into the controversial statements made by Karuna regarding crimes committed while he was in the LTTE.

The Police Spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne said Karuna has been summoned to the CID and his statement will be recorded.

Karuna, however dismissed the police action saying he “cannot be arrested for anything he did in the war.”

(Colombo/June22/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe                                       Edited by Arjuna Ranawana