Former Eastern Commander of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias ‘Karuna Amman’, launched a new political party, “Tamil United Freedom Party” in Batticaloa yesterday, breaking away from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), in which he was Vice President during the previous regime.
Announcing the inauguration of the new party in Focus Hall, Batticaloa, the militant-turned-politician noted there is a need to form a new party to address the concerns of the Tamil speaking people in the North and East, as the current Tamil National Alliance (TNA) continues to fail the people.
“Unlike the Federal Party or the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), which brought the Tamil people under one umbrella, there is a vacuum in the political leadership of the Tamil people. Hence, we have come out to fill that space” Mr Muralitharan said, explaining to his supporters as to why he had to come out with a new party, at this juncture.
He noted that the TNA was formed by the LTTE in the past, ahead of Parliamentary elections, by bringing all Tamil political parties under one umbrella, but its leaders are not willing to admit that today, due to various reasons.
“When I was Deputy Chief Minister, there were no issues of land grabbing by the military in the East but today, people are complaining their lands are being acquired for security reasons. The TNA and the ‘Good Governance’ government also do not seem to be worried about this,” he said.
It was announced at the meeting that, the party would be based in Batticaloa and eventually, would open branches in the North and East, for political work. As a former top LTTE military commander for the Eastern Province during the ‘Eelam’ war, he broke away from the outfit and joined the then government. He later became Deputy Minister of National Integration in the Rajapaksa government.
Later, he was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) in November last year, for alleged misuse of a bulletproof luxury government vehicle. He was remanded by the Colombo Magistrate and subsequently enlarged on bail.