Ramasamy not linked to LTTE, says former member

Coordinator of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, set up to find peace in Sri Lanka during its civil war, says Ramasamy was merely a member of the panel, whose expenses were borne by the Norwegian government.

GEORGE TOWN: A peace negotiator and former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today asserted that Deputy Chief Minister II Prof P Ramasamy was not associated with the group.

This was contained in an email sent to Ramasamy by Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who is now practising law in New York.

Visuvanathan, in the email, said that the deputy chief minister was one of the members of a Constitutional Affairs Committee set up during the peace process to explore the modalities for peaceful resolution of the conflict in Sri Lanka.

He stated that in 2002, a peace process was initiated between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government, under the auspices of the Norwegian government, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.

“The expenses for the committee, such as travelling and hotel accommodations, were borne by the Norwegian government.

“I acted as the coordinator of the committee, which comprised academics and experts. Sri Lankan attorney-general Shiva Pasupathy, and Prof Ramasamy, were among others.

“Neither Shiva nor Ramasamy had any kind of association or affiliation with the LTTE,” he said in his email to Ramasamy.

Ramasamy has been targeted by several Muslim activists, including Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, in the wake of the controversy over the government’s handling of Dr Zakir Naik, the Indian-Muslim preacher wanted by New Delhi over allegations of terrorism.

Ramasamy had been critical of Naik, supporting calls to extradite him to India, which wants to question the preacher on money laundering and terrorism accusations.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had stated Malaysia will not deport Naik as long as he doesn’t cause problems. Naik has been given permanent resident status in Malaysia.

Police have also stated that India had not officially asked for Naik to be extradited.

Ramasamy recently denied any links with the Tamil Tigers after a picture of him taking part in a meeting involving the LTTE Constitutional Affairs Committee appeared on social media.

Ramasamy had said the committee was set up by the Sri Lankan government following a peace agreement reached between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers, adding that he had also been invited to join peace efforts in strife-torn Aceh.

Ramasamy has had 52 police reports lodged against him, which he believes are all due to his criticism of the controversial preacher.