Red Cross driver released

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 1999, 17:51 GMT]
Thuraisamy Pathmanathan, the driver of the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC), Vavuniya branch, who was arrested and detained by Sri Lankan Police sleuths on June 7 last year for taking an opposition MP to the Liberation Tigers controlled areas of the Vanni was released without charges this morning at the Colombo magistrate's court.

The government alleged at the time that the UNP MP, Dr.Jayalath Jayawardana, met the political wing leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr.Thamilchelvan, and other leaders of the organisation.

The Sri Lankan President charged that the UNP had hatched a conspiracy with the Liberation Tigers to topple the government during the MP's visit.

The SLRC driver was arrested in this connection. Later the MP was also questioned by the Criminal Investigation Division about his visit to the Vanni.

A fundamental rights case filed by Pathmanathan claiming that his arrest and detention are groundless is to be heard before Sri Lanka's supreme court on February 16.

The release of Pathmanathan comes at this juncture to avoid embarrassment to the government said a legal source.

The Police investigators had had no case against him from day one they said.

The SLRC driver was held without charges in the high security prison at Kalutara, south of Colombo.


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