Contrary to a news report in “The Hindu” where former Fisheries minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne is quoted as saying that ex-LTTE leader “KP”has left Sri Lanka, the former tiger stalwart is still living in Northern Sri Lanka.
“The Hindu”report filed by Meera Srinivasan from Colombo states that “Kumaran Pathmanathan or ‘KP’, who was wanted in Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is missing from Sri Lanka”.
It goes on to quote Dr. Rajitha Senaratne as saying “We heard he escaped through the airport’s VIP lounge. We are investigating,” . The former minister is described as a “senior politician and spokesman of President Maithripala Sirisena”.
Upon reading the news report I telephoned “KP” whose real name is Selvarasah Pathmanathan and not Kumaran Pathmanathan as reported by the Indian media. He was at his usual residence in Thiruvaiyaaru,Kilinocchi.
When I asked him about the news report , he replied that he was aware of it but was helpless . He said that there had been several news reports about him in the past which were factually incorrect.KP said he hoped the authorities concerned would set the record straight in due course that he had not left the country and that he was in Kilinochchi.
He also said that he had not participated in any election related activity and stayed aloof from “politics” concentrating only on looking after the children in the orphanages under his care.
After speaking to KP I also contacted knowledgeable sources in Kilinochchi who also confirmed that KP was living in Kilinochchi under protective custody.
Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias KP who was arrested in Malaysia in 2009 and brought to Sri Lanka has been living in Kilinochchi for the past few years under protective custody.
KP who formed a Non Governmental Organization known as the North – Eastern Rehabilitation and Development Organization(NERDO) administers three registered orphanages through that.
The three orphanages are “Anbu Illam” the home for boys is in Muthaiyankaddu, “Bharathi Illam”the home for girls in Mulliyawalai and another girls orphanage “Sencholai”in Kilinochchi situated in close proximity to the Army headquarters in Iranaimadhu.
A fourth home for boys in Kilinochchi has also been set up but is yet to function fully
The three orphanages housing over 300 children are financed by donations from well-wishers of all communities in Sri Lanka and abroad.
On a personal note I have been in touch with KP over the past few years and kept abreast of the work undertaken in running the three orphanages. I have also been involved in helping these children in my personal capacity and have kept myself informed of the work in progress. I also visited the “Sencholai”orphanage in 2013 when I was in Sri Lanka and spent half a day with the children.It was a heartwarming experience
The news report in “The Hindu”stated as follows –
Kumaran Pathmanathan missing; He was wanted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“Kumaran Pathmanathan or ‘KP’, who was wanted in Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, is missing from Sri Lanka.
“We heard he escaped through the airport’s VIP lounge. We are investigating,” said Rajitha Senaratne, senior politician and spokesman of President Maithripala Sirisena. KP headed the arms procurement wing and ‘international secretariat’ of the LTTE before the military arrested him. Over the last few years he managed a children’s home in Kilinochchi while reportedly continuing to remain in custody”.
DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at ~ firstname.lastname@example.org